Meet MGC Raleigh legal assistant Maggie Garcia-Schubert as we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month!
I’m Maggie Garcia-Schubert and I work as a legal assistant to some amazing attorneys and paralegals in the Raleigh office. As part of Hispanic Heritage Month, I wanted to share a little about my background with you. I identify as a true Cuban-American – blessed to have been born in Havana, Cuba to Cuban parents, but fortunate enough to have lived on American soil since the age of four.
I was born around the time of the Cuban Revolution. My father worked for the government, which was overtaken, and had to flee for his life, leaving behind his wife and two daughters. He participated in the Bay of Pigs Invasion that was unfortunately crushed, and spent two years in prison. During that time, my mother was able to come to the US, and then a year later, my sister and I made it out. Once released, my father and many of his fellow patriots were offered a commission in the US military. My father served until he had to retire due to a medical disability. While in the Army, we lived in several states on the East Coast, in Texas and finally Germany. He retired to Miami where I lived until two years ago when my husband and I moved to Raleigh, NC.
I am probably more American than Cuban in that I was educated here in English and know much more about US history than Cuban history. However, roots run deep. When I get really angry, I still cuss in Spanish! I love my ancestry. Cuba has such a rich, diverse history. It’s a small island with mountains, rainforests, waterfalls, incredibly rich farmland, beaches (some with volcanic black sand) and had sophisticated and modern cities. When I was born, it was the third richest country in the western hemisphere. Unfortunately, it’s now one of the poorest.
Much of the Cuban heritage came to the US with us. The food, music and traditions have stood the test of time. My family still celebrates “Noche Buena” (Good Night) on December 24th with a big party, complete with a roasted whole pig. Lots of eating, laughter and dancing! Another big tradition is a young woman’s 15th birthday, her “Quinces.” Think of an American Sweet Sixteen party and debutante ball rolled into one.
To commemorate Hispanic Heritage Month this year, Mattel® has issued a new Barbie™ that honors one of Cuba’s national treasures – Celia Cruz. Celia was known as the Salsa Queen for good reason. She was the personification of Cuban music and pure joy. A gifted singer and entertainer, to see her in concert was to have experienced the sound of Cuba. “Guantanamera” and “Quimbara” are two of my favorites. I grew up listening to her right along with Frank Sinatra and the Rolling Stones!
Growing up immersed in two amazing cultures has not always been easy, but I can’t imagine it any other way. My heart belongs to both.
The last photo of Maggie taken in Cuba & Maggie today