Julie Lugo Cerra

As the child of a Hispanic father who spoke English and Spanish equally well, and a mother who only spoke English despite her European descent, Julie Lugo Cerra felt pride in her Hispanic heritage. Julie is proud that descendants of California’s early Spanish settlers learned since childhood, through stories passed down by family elders, how people came to live in California. ‘‘Although our country and, more specifically, the state of California has a relatively short history compared to that of European countries and other continents, we feel a tie and enjoy celebrating Spanish culture.’’ Julie continues explaining that, since lineage is easily traced today in this age of communication and technology, people are enabled and encouraged to find their roots. In her view, this has given many a sense of belonging.