When it comes to heritage, I automatically think of my family. In my case I have two types of heritage to look towards, my Colombian (not Columbia) heritage from my father who was born and raised in Armenia, Colombia.
Then I have the part Italian from my mother who was born and raised in Ohio. Because Gutierrez is said first in my name, I more immediately identify with Colombian rather than Italian.
While I like to attach myself to my Colombian side, I find it hard since my Spanish is not fluent, even though I lived in my dad’s hometown, Armenia, for over a year in the fourth grade. However, this did not stop me from enjoying the place my father came from. The plantation farms, which grew bell peppers, to the rather scary military armed with fully automatics, Colombia is a beautiful place that I am glad I can relate to. Regardless of the Pablo Escobar references people make when I point out I am Colombian, I am glad to have it part of my heritage. And yes, the coffee and chocolate is delicious.
While I may not know much about my Italian heritage, aside from delicious food, I still like to identify with both when I can. I find this mixture of both heritages to define who I am. I have my lighter complexion and features from my Italian side and my passion for dancing from the Colombian side. I like to say hips like Shakira but that is debatable.
As for my national heritage, being American more specifically a Californian. I find that my national heritage transcends my family heritage because they can co-exist without cancelling out the other. I can identify myself as both Colombian and American with pride.
P.S I saw a lot of food so I thought I would include my favorite to eat while I lived in Colombia. This is pressed fried plantain with shrimp cocktail on top. In Colombia they used ketchup and lime.