I can almost taste the posole cooking on my great-grandmother's stove top. I can smell the homemade salsa sitting in the middle of her kitchen table, in the same salsa dish that many generations before us had poured salsa from.
Great-Grandmother's kitchen was always busy, just like a restaurant. Six sitting at the kitchen table and eight sitting at the dining room table in the next room. There were at least three different shifts, to get through dinner time in our family. Normally, the kids would sit at the kitchen table, while the adults would sit in the dining room.
My great-grandfather always sat at the end of the table with the kids and in the same chair. Always so quiet, serious, but very observant of everyone around him. Over the years, I was able to witness my great-grandmother serve her husband dinner gracefully and proudly. His food was made slightly different due to his health; less salt, less sugar, but it still tasted just as delicious as everyone else's.
Great-Grandmother would stand quietly next to the stove, apron on, warming tortillas for everyone. The first in the kitchen and the last to leave. She played a big role, my great-grandmother. I knew that she had the most important job in the world. Everyone loved and respected her.
Now that she is gone, she is sorely missed. I am blessed to still have my two grandmothers with me. They are also "Gran Ama De Casa" (housemakers), just like great-grandmother.
Being a homemaker is not something you could go to school for or get a degree in. It is something that you learn at home and witness everyday. It is a gift that comes naturally from the heart of these women. A passion. It is instilled in you purely from growing up around a great one.
I remember on rainy days walking home from school, drenched from head to toe, my mom would have that very same Posole waiting for us. Just like Great-Grandma did. I can almost taste it.
Mom has always taken great care of my father and us kids. We prayed the rosary as a family. Our clothes were always washed and ironed. Our beds were always made. Dinner was always served and I can't forget Sundays after church when we would have family time.
Mom became an "Ama De Casa" at the age of 18. As young as she was, she took this role very seriously and followed the traditions set forth by her mother. Even when times got tough for us, my siblings and I always felt safe and taken care of. Mom always made everything feel so much better.
I have always looked up to generations of hard-working, selfless, loving women. Dedication and loyalty are values that have been instilled in me through them. They are leaders and because of them I believe I can be a leader too. With their guidance, I have the confidence to persevere through hard times and love my family unconditionally.
Even though I have chosen to pursue a different road in life, I still feel very connected to my culture and these family values. I am very thankful to have been positively influenced by my mom, grandmothers and great-grandmother. I always aim to reflect their qualities in everything that I do as a young Latina.
In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, The Huffington Post asked celebrated figures in the community to write about Hispanic heroes who have shaped their lives and/or how their heritage has made an impact on their lives and careers. We will be sharing their stories throughout the month. But we know they're not alone. If you'd like to share your own story, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.