Just like any average day, I got in my car with the Amerifam (AmeriCorps Family) to head to service. We sat down, buckled up, and per usual, I plugged my phone into the aux. I pressed shuffle and a familiar tune simultaneously prompted a huge smile on my face and an audible eye-roll from my passengers—my favorite song, Mi Gente. If you don’t know J Balvin and Willy William’s Mi Gente, specifically Beyoncé’s remix, odds are you haven’t spent much time around me in the past 6 months. If you had, I promise you have heard that song more times than you probably ever wanted to. Am I sorry about it? No. Am I gonna continue playing it on repeat? 100%.
To say I love Mi Gente would be the understatement of the year. I know every lyric, every beat-drop, and have my own awful dance moves to complement it. This trilingual crossover and its fiery beat make people want to sing and dance along (at least the first several times), and the fact that Queen Bey is part of it makes it that much better. I’ve had phases like these with plenty of songs before, but I usually get sick of them quickly, so I began to wonder why Mi Gente was different.
For those who don’t speak Spanish, “mi gente” means “my people,” and the theme of this song promotes inclusion of all, as music does not discriminate. Following the natural disasters affecting Puerto Rico, Mexico, Texas, and the Caribbean last summer, Beyoncé’s remix of Mi Gente was created to show support for the people from these places, as all profits from this remix went towards charities for their relief. As an NHC member, I am heavily committed to improving communities, and part of doing so comes from recognizing and celebrating diversity. Many of my patients are new immigrants. I love working with these people because even though helping them get their prescription meds isn’t a huge part of their transition, I know I’m helping them acclimate to their new home, and it excites me to think about the new perspectives their presence will bring to my community. To me, expanding this commitment to community improvement globally is also essential, as at the end of the day the world is just one big community. I’ve come to realize that maybe the reason I love Mi Gente so much is because it not only aligns with my musical preferences, but also with the values and lessons I’ve gained from NHC, such as the importance of helping people feel that they belong regardless of where they are. I might not have as powerful of a platform as J Balvin, Willy William, and Beyoncé, but serving as an Americorps member does allow me to help my patients in need and brings me joy in having the privilege to listen to their stories. So yes, I am shamelessly obsessed with Mi Gente, but my equal obsession with its cause and message completely justifies it. That’s at least what I’m telling myself as I press play once again.