HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — Food is a huge component of Hispanic culture.
A woman who recently moved to Huntsville set out to learn about her new community, one authentic Hispanic dish at a time.
Angelica Garcia immigrated to the United States from Mexico when she was nine. She and her husband along with their three sons last lived in northwest Georgia, where Garcia said their community had a majority Latino population.
Her dad has worked in the restaurant industry for almost 40 years, so she has always been surrounded by food.
“I’ve always been passionate about food. I enjoy eating it. That’s part of our culture, too,” she said. “We love to eat and use food to bring people together to celebrate different things like birthdays, and holidays.”
Garcia learned to cook traditional dishes that are part of her culture, and she and her dad teach her young sons how to do the same.
Garcia and her family moved to Huntsville a year ago, which she said was a bit of a culture shock despite how welcoming people in the community have been. So, she’s been exploring her new community by taking her family to restaurants and food trucks serving up authentic Hispanic dishes.
Angelica Garcia writes a blog for the Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau, in which she describes the meals she finds around the Rocket City.
“I’m always exploring different food trucks and restaurants trying to find the most authentic Mexican and Hispanic dishes,” Garcia said. “I felt like that was a great opportunity for me to pour into the community and to show others you know, ‘hey, there’s this food truck that you may be driving by,’ and people maybe are hesitant to try it.”
Garcia is also a teacher. She teaches “English to Speakers of Other Languages.”
“Coming into this country and not knowing a thing of English, there were many educators and teachers and admins that took the role into my education and supported me,” Garcia explained. “I’ve always looked up to them. The moment I decided I wanted to do a career, I wanted it to be something where I was making the same impact those educators made in my life.”
She said it’s an opportunity to help kids who are just like she was: new to the country and feeling like they may not fit in because they don’t speak the language yet.
“It’s a position and job that I love because I’m able to pour my heart as an educator, and also give my own culture and experiences,” she said.