How Ancestry.com Gave Me a Renewed Sense of Pride

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In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from September 15 through October 15, Latina.com staffers have taken to ancestry.com for more insight into their families and heritage – while blogging about their findings. Here’s one staffer’s experience.

I’ve always been curious about my cultural background. It started in college when I started taking Latino studies classes. Until college all I learned about my Incan ancestors was pretty much, they had a nice run. But then the Spanish came along and you know the rest. My desire to know more led me down a path of reading books on the powerful Incas and their brilliant empire. Earlier in my journalistic career I even used one of the last Incan emperor’s names, Atahualpa, as a pen name. I’ve also always suspected my last name has roots in Italy. Look at it: Tri (three) vino (wine). Over the years, I’ve learned the difference between the surnames Trivino and Trevino—one is South American and the latter is usually Mexican. 

Although, Ancestry.com doesn’t go back all the way to Incan times (yet), it did provide me with some valid information. For example, my father’s given name is Arnulfo not Arnoldo. I double-checked it with my mom. Apparently, he hated his name and when he emigrated to the U.S. from Guayaquil, Ecuador in 1967, he changed it. Good choice.

On my mother’s side I didn’t really discover anything new. Yet, it did spark a need to ask her about her parents. Apparently, my grandfather, Cesar Alarcon, was an English teacher in Guayaquil. Due to the lack of economic growth in the educational field, he decided to pickup his father’s trade, carpentry. He traveled with his brothers between Colombia, Peru and Ecuador for work. He died at the age of 40 of a brain tumor in 1966. A year later, my father, a courier for an airline, decided to immigrate to Brooklyn, NY. Today I’m empowered by my Incan roots, my grandfather’s thirst for knowledge and my parents’ adventurous spirits.

Jesus Trivino Alarcon is Latina magazine's Entertainment Editor. 

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About this author1

Jesus Trivino,

Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, Jesús Triviño Alarcón began his professional journalism career at Vibe. At 25, he became editor-in-chief of Fuego, the first national English language Latino men’s magazine, and served as senior editor for Scratch, a magazine dedicated to hip-hop producers and DJs. Since then he has guided the editorial direction for MyNuvoTV.com, the online component of the Latino lifestyle cable network, and BET.com's music shows and specials including 106 & Park. Additionally, he has written and reported for the NY Daily News, SLAM, The Source, XXL, Inked, SOHH.com, People.com, Essence.com, and many more. In his 13-year career he’s interviewed countless celebrities including Carmelo Anthony, Demi Lovato, Marc Anthony, Rosario Dawson, Willie Colón, Jay-Z, Nas, Jessica Alba, John Leguizamo, 50 Cent, Kanye West, among others. Today, as Latina’s Entertainment Editor he’s constantly thinking WWJD—What Would Juanes Do? Follow me on Instagram @JesusTalks and Twitter @JTrivinoAlarcon.

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