A Life Together with Christ at the Center: The Ramirez Family

the ramirez family

In the Hispanic culture, family is not thought of as individuals related by common members but instead as one unit. Though there is technically the nuclear family and branches of the extended family, when they consider you family, you are treated no differently. Centered on Christ and rich with their Hispanic culture, the Ramirez family exemplifies family as community.

Edgar and Emily Ramirez, senior and freshman here at DBU, come from a long line of Peruvian-Colombian circus performers. Their father, Edgardo, was born and raised throughout South America and migrated to the United States in his 20's to work with a circus in the States. Once he started a family with Edith Ramirez, he retired from traveling and began to work as an electromechanical technician, which he still does today. Edith is the daughter of Mexican migrant farmworkers who currently works as a hospice nurse. Together they have three children. Edgar is a senior at DBU, Emily is a freshman at DBU, and Edeliz is a freshman at Greenville High School.

While the Ramirez family consists of only 5 members, their extended family is very large. "My extended family is so large I wouldn't be able to count them if I tried," explained Edgar. "Although a good chunk of my family resides in Greenville, I have relatives in close touch scattered all throughout the world — in Orlando, Las Vegas, Peru, and even parts of Europe."

A Multicultural Family

One of Edgar's favorite things about his family is how multicultural and diverse they are. Coming from South America, Mexico, and even Europe, his family comes together with a vast mix of cultures and understandings. "When we all gather together, especially during the holidays, I am blown away by the uniqueness represented," Edgar reflected. "It has allowed me to view the world differently, to be more understanding of different perspectives, and to learn from different subcultures within my very broad understanding of Hispanic culture." Edgar's time with his family has forever influenced the way he speaks and interacts with others both inside and outside his family.

Along with the extensive culture in his family comes diverse and unique dishes. Edgar and his family enjoy gathering with his family and sharing Argentinean grilled foods, handmade Italian pastries, and traditional Hispanic food. Seeing and learning about his family's diversity is a treasured time for Edgar.

A Supportive Family

"In Hispanic culture, family is synonymous with community," Edgar explained. "In my family, I like to think of us as cheerleaders." Edgar and his siblings recount each time they have had sports games, choir recitals, school functions; their parents have been there, cheering them on. Both Edgardo and Edith are intimately involved with their children's lives and are the backbone of support for the family. While Edgar acknowledges no one is perfect, his family is a safe place for when anyone messes up and each person makes an effort to be open and help bring healing in every situation. "We are a community. We build one another up, we support each other, we instruct each other, and we cherish each other."

A Christ-Centered Family

The Ramirez family has a foundational value in Christ and the Christian faith. Edgar remembers from an early age being instilled with a value that places God first, always. As a child of Hispanic immigrants, Edgar and his siblings have also grown up with a strong work ethic, motivation to never let obstacles stop them from doing their best, and have their work honor the Lord. "My family values a strong work ethic but understands that if God isn't given the glory for our accomplishments, then we have completely missed the mark." Both of these principles have been extremely influential to the way Edgar perceives life and lives daily.

While Edgar acknowledges no family is perfect, he is extremely grateful for his family and knows his family is grateful for him too. Though they have had to face obstacles throughout life, it hasn't stopped them but only encouraged them to continue celebrating and treasuring their family's beautiful and unique heritage.

Written by Brooks Anthony

Brooks Anthony writes for the University Communications Department for Dallas Baptist University.