“The happiest moment of my life would have to be the day I had you.”

Rosalia taking a photo.

Rosalia Tinoco

Rosalia taking a photo.

Interview audio

Rosalia Tinoco was born in Los Angeles, California on March 9, 1988. At the age of five she had to go to Mexico because her grandparents became very ill and her mom had to care for them.

She ended up staying for four years and came back to Los Angeles when she was nine. She then attended Thomas Jefferson High School and graduated in 2006.

She has been happily married with two children and one stepson who she loves as her own.



Haily Tinoco: What were your parents like?
Rosalia Tinoco: What were my parents like? My parents, well both my parents were very different.I would have to say my dad was the sweet one of all, I know my mom was a sweet person too but I want to say my dad was the sweetest one of all.
HTWhy was he the sweetest?
RT: I guess in the sense that he had more patience for us versus my mom, then again I don’t believe my mom because she was a stay-at-home mom so she would deal with us on a daily basis so she would would have to deal with like our you know attitudes and you know us misbehaving and dad would just be home at the end of the day just [inaudible] couple hours. So they were both very loving tho.
RT: With- of course I would have to say my dad was the patient one.
HT:Where are your parents from?
RT: Where are my parents from? Both of my parents are from Mexico. Its from this little state called Colima, which is coast of Mexico. Its a very small state and its a beachy state so it has- its a very humid state, its very pretty.
HT: Can you tell a story about any cultural traditions observed by your family and help us understand why they are important?
RT: Let’s see. I would have to say it would be Dia De Los Muertos.
RT: Dia De Los Muertos is also known as Day Of The Dead. For that I would have to say it’s important for us and as you know your grandma is very into that. What that is about is pretty much just, how would I say it, try to keep the memory of those who have left this earth alive with pictures and prayers and just do like an altar with like stuff that they would’ve appreciate and love while they were alive, its a way of remembering them and pretty much not letting their memory die. So I feel like that’s important because, for example, you know about my grandmother although you didn’t meet her, you still know some stories about her[inaudible].
HT: She always talks about her!
RT: Exactly, and it has to do a lot with your grandma doing the yearly thing with the altar and you know talking about her and what she would like and what she didn’t like and i just feel that keeps the memory alive a lot longer.
HT: What was the happiest moment of your life?
RT: The happiest moment of my life, would have to be the day I had you.
HT: Duh!
RT: You were obviously my first born, and I was a young mom but I always wanted to be a young mom.
HT: How old were you?
RT: I was 21 when I had you.
HT: 21?
RT: Yeah, and it was the happiest because I always knew I wanted kids and I would always desire a baby girl, so when I found out I was going to have a baby girl it made my life-it made my world, and I guess that would have to be the happiest day of my life.
HT: And what was the saddest:
RT: Oooh. The saddest?
HT: Or do you not have one?
RT: Yeah, we all have sad moments. I guess the saddest will have to be…Well I had a couple of sad moments. Two of the saddest moments were losing my grandparents. I was very close to them and it’s been a lot of years and it still hurts up to this date
HT: Dang!
RT: Yeah.
HT: Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
RT: The biggest influence in my life would have to be both my parents. To me is very admiring that they left the country where they were born. They left their family behind, they left their friends behind. They left pretty much all their life behind just to better their life, and what happens is, when they better their life, they better the life of their children you know? So I feel that’s admiring because it’s hard. Imagine, leaving everyone behind just so that your life can get better and the one of those to get better too.
HT: That’s really hard!
RT: That’s really hard! You come to a foreign place where you don’t know the language, you don’t know the area, you don’t know anything. You are pretty much here trying to survive and struggle just so that your loved ones can have a better life. So I would have to say that they are my biggest influence because they didn’t care about the obstacles, they didn’t care about what they had to go through just to provide a better life for them and of their loved ones. So I feel that if they were able to do that, here where they didn’t know anybody, where they-
HT: They didn’t know the language.
RT: They didn’t know the language, and if they were able to survive and to like you know be able to buy their own home and stuff like that, it shouldn’t be an obstacle for me that I was born here, that you know. I’m documented, it shouldn’t be an issue for me either so. They are my biggest influence.
HT: What lessons did you learn from that?
RT: That again, that there is, that there is no obstacles. You shouldn’t let anything stop you from getting what you want in life you know? Again, they came here not knowing anybody, not knowing the country, not knowing absolutely anything and they were able to work and to like help their families and better their lives.
HT: If you could do anything-Oh no, If you can do everything again what would you do differently?
RT: I think for me, it would have to be to finish college. I think college is very important because it helps you, you know, get better jobs, better job offers, which goes hand in hand with providing a better life for your children. Thankfully, I’ve been, you know, i’ve been in the medical field for quite some time and i’ve been able to get good jobs that pay well and stuff, but I know that had I done something, or finished college I would have a better paying job and still within the medical field but better paid if that makes sense.
HT: Like a better position?
RT: Better position, yeah! So I feel like, I know it’s still not late, I can still do it but it’s difficult with children and like all the responsibilities I have, I feel like it’s harder, you know? So I think that is something that I would have done different. Finish school then have kids.
HT: Yeah.
RT: Regardless, I wouldn’t have it any other way because I have you guys.
HT: Ok, well. Thank you! I really appreciate you spending time with me.
RT: Of course!