What is Agrincala?

Posted on March 29, 2011

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Relationships are lovely.  They’re also tough.  When a relationship also happens to cut across different cultural lines, it can be even tougher.

Agrincala is a space (well, a virtual one) designed to speak to those in a relationship of the gringa-latino nature.

It all started when Juan and I were on our honeymoon in NYC.  We met up with some dear friends who also happen to be a gringa and latino couple.  Afterwards, we kept commenting how refreshing it was to speak with two individuals dealing with several of the same delights and difficulties, advantages and issues, involved in “this kind of relationship.”

Later, I realized that in reality I have SO MANY friends in this kind of relationship.  My husband mentioned we should form an association.  I thought, well how about a blog?

Here’s an analogy.  All first-time parents can use some help, right?  Parents of twins have a whole extra set of specific concerns and needs, and so they often attend support groups with others in the same situation in order to provide help and receive advice.  Similarly, all young couples could stand to learning and grow.  Gringa-latino couples, though, face additional particular, unique issues.  So why don’t we talk about these more?  Collaborate more?  Share success stories or “best practices” more?  Share also sorrows or worries?  I think we would have a lot to gain if we did.  So, this is an association for you out there who could use and give some support.  An Asocación de gringas casadas con latinos.   Agrincala.

I like the specific use of that word, “association.”  Kind of like a neighborhood club.  My vision is that this become a public space, a gathering place where people can truly associate.  That is, find community.  Because the gringa-latino relationship also offers particular, unique benefits and joys.  Tapping into these positives together, as well as exploring some uneasy troubles together, will benefit us all on our journeys toward more fulfilling relationships.  Buen camino.

Now, a postscript.  Yes, the acronym of Agrincala refers to gringas casadas con latinos.  Let me offer several caveats here:

* In the first place, this is by no means a space exclusively for married folk.  Juan and I just happen to be married.  And indeed, marriage adds a whole other dimension to the gringa-latino relationship.  So, of course, do dating or divorced relationships, or non-wed unions and partnerships.  Since we’re married, it’s the only perspective into which we can truly provide insight.  But we verrrrry much welcome YOUR insight on YOUR particular relationship.  And, for the singles out there who may be attracted to latinos or Latin American culture or Latin America in general, YOU are also very very welcome here.  For you, maybe the acronym can mean gringas cautivadas (captivated!) de latinos.  =)

* Secondly, yes, the subtitle says gringas casadas con latinos.  Again though, please consider this name to be fluid.  For gringos and latinas out there who are casados or cautivados with each other, hopefully YOU’ll join the community as well, and find something useful in it.  It’s just that I’m a gringa, and most people I know also fit the gringa-latino dynamic, and so it’s the only perspective I can truly share.  But the point is, the name of this association is really gring@s casad@s con latin@s.  That is quite a mouthful however, so we’ll stick with the abbreviation, Agrincala.  Wootawoot for gender-neutral language!

* Next, “gringos” I do not consider a disparaging term, nor exclusive to people from the U.S.  French and Australian and so many other people in relationships with latinos or Latin Americans may encounter similar experiences.

* And finally, differentiating between the gringa and the latino is meant to highlight different cultural backgrounds.  The point of this association is to learn from one another’s cross-cultural relationships.  It is not meant to draw a division between two “others,” but rather to learn to understand each other better.   Nor is it meant to highlight race, although ignoring the question of race and ethnicity would be to squelch an important conversation.  Hopefully, we’ll talk about some hard topics in an insightful and open way.

That’s it in a nutshell:  let’s celebrate and talk honestly about our diversity.  Let’s celebrate the richness of our relationships.

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Posted in: Relationships