For Washington Heights Residents, In The Heights Is A Sueñito Come True

Many of our parents and grandparents who came to the Heights from different parts of the Caribbean fought battles with endless seas and Uncle Sam to give their children the life they never had. Everybody here has a sueñito, whether it’s to put their children through school like Mr. Rosario (Jimmy Smits), become a fashion designer like Vanessa (Melissa Barrera), or make it back to the homeland once financially stable like Usnavi. The film brings alive each sueñito and the pain that can come with the process of achieving it in the Heights. The bittersweet moments when Nina speaks about the racial bias she experienced at college or Abuela Claudia reminisces about the endless days her mother worked scrubbing floors hoping for a better life remind me of the everyday struggles we each experience. Yet even as we face our own challenges, this community is always family. The characters in the movie were not all biologically related, but they treated one another as their own because that is what the Heights is. We cry, protest, and dispute, but we always stand together in pride as hermanos y hermanas.

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