Piojito, piojito

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Laredo and lice, posted with vodpod

The Pro8News story reminded me of my first experiences with being singled out as “different.” I didn’t have lice but… in my grammar school, if you were brown, your head went down. Our school nurse would put on her gloves and only the Latinos (mostly Mexican migrant students like me and a few Puerto Ricans) were asked to put their heads down on their desk while we got our heads checked.

I don’t think the school administrators ever understood how that changed my view of being a Latina. We were made to feel sucios, even if we were not. If there were outbreaks of lice, didn’t they think the white and black children also had lice or was the assumption that they were immune? I better stop thinking about my early memories before I break my normally happy mood.

At least the Laredo health services representative claims to be more sensitive about this issue. Let’s hope it’s true.


About Que Fregados

Que Fregados is a quirky look at little things that strike us funny in Laredo and the unique Latino culture. Suggestions and comments are welcome. You can also email to quefregados@gmail.com.
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4 Responses to Piojito, piojito

  1. rick78 says:

    Know that feeling all too well! It is said that Hispanics are most likely become diabetic and prone to kidney end stage disease. Well upon reaching dialysis that was not the case this dreadful disease knows no racism every ethnic group at that clinic was well represented . By the grace of GOD I received a kidney transplant and doing well. At post kidney follow ups in UTMB in Galveston,Texas all races are well represented as well . The only racism I have noticed at times are from medical personnel.

    • Que Fregados says:

      Wow, Rick. I never knew. I also spent some time at UTMB – no comment. Let’s just say that the Corpus Christi hospital personnel was MUCH nicer when I got transferred. Glad to know that you received a new kidney and I hope you continue to do well.

      • rick78 says:

        Thanks ! They highly disliked me because I am too vocal and defend other fellow patients at the former dialysis clinic and UTMB as well. One would think that medical personnel took an oath to help regardless of race but unfortunately it is alive and well. Hope you recovered from whatever condition you had that required medical attention.

  2. Que Fregados says:

    Facebook comments:

    Bertha – I remember that very clearly!!! We were checked by teachers and they always used gloves!!!

    Jennie – I would have thrown them for a loop! I was the dirty lil’ white girl probably giving everyone else the lice. ;). I can still remember the smell of the shampoo.
    No worries everyone- I’m cleaner these days!!!

    Jose – We came from Mexico, and I attended Central School. We were so poor I had to wear the same clothes up to 3 times a week. I remember because of that, a teacher (an Hispanic woman) called me “piojoso”. Never had them, but her comments stayed with me to this day. She’s still alive but I look forward to her final day, and …maybe put a bottle of lice shampoo on her grave. Teachers should be careful to what they say. They don’t realize the power they have over children.

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