We had the good fortune of connecting with Delia Ruiz and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Delia, how has your background shaped the person you are today?
This is always a fun question since the question depends on where I grew up or where does my Spanish come from. I was born in San Antonio, Texas. However, I lived part of my life in Mexico and most of my childhood, teen years, and college life in Alabama. I come from an immigrant household of two hardworking parents who believed in the power of education. With that being said, I was also a first-generation college student. I grew up in a household where hard work was valued and education was the ticket to following your dreams. Growing up, my parents valued their culture, language, values, and hard work ethic which continue to drive me today.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am a new Latinx children’s book author. I started my writing journey last year by drafting my manuscript. I have always wanted to write a children’s book and the Covid lock down time gave me an opportunity to get to work on my dreams. While I had no idea where to start, I started reaching out to people on the same journey and joined groups where I could ask questions and receive assistance on what were the next steps. It was certainly not easy, but it has been rewarding. I overcame most of my challenges by asking for help from experts on the field, reading more books, Zoom calls with other authors, and taking a deep breath through it all. My children’s book “Roqui’s Pandero Beat” debuts late April and I’m so excited for everyone to see the finished result. As I teacher, I wanted to write a book that would teach a standard and also focus on the Latinx culture (In this case the Puerto Rican culture) by teaching children to tap along to a syllable beat. When the time comes to have children, I want my children to value both mine and my husband’s cultures. I want them to celebrate the music that comes from the island and know those roots are part of them too. I’m hoping my book brings joy to many classrooms and households.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Let’s start with my favorite meal, brunch! I would recommend Cafe 21 in the Gaslamp area. They offer smaller selections of dishes meant to be shared. After brunch, Balboa park is a must for a relaxing stroll or scooter ride. Balboa park is a staple of San Diego and has beautiful architecture. To relax I would recommend a cup of coffee at Monkier down at Liberty Station. They have lots of outdoor seating and their coffee is simply wonderful. To finish day I would recommend two of my favorite wineries in Escondido: Cordiano and Speckle Rock. Both places are dog-friendly and have the best wine selections. In addition to the views, Cordiano also serves pizza, yum! Other places I would recommend: Hike: Ho Chi Minh Trail in La Jolla Lunch at the Harbor: Coasterra Brewery/Awesome Food: Stone Brewing Garden Bistro i
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
The two people who deserve the most credit for my accomplishments are my parents. My parents did not have the opportunity to further their education due to working at a young age to help support their parents and siblings. They also immigrated to the United States for a better life and ultimately to give their two daughters an education and better life. I recognized this early on and had an internal drive to make their trip to the U.S. worthwhile. I wanted my parents to know that their sacrifice was valued and their daughters were going to go off and beyond to make them proud. While at the end of the day my parents were satisfied with my happiness, the ultimate reward was seeing them hold mine and my sister’s diplomas in their hands with a big smile. In the end, I wouldn’t be where I am today if my parents had not decided to bring me to the U.S. at a young age.