I am from

By Gisel Bello
Gold Writing Workshop | Fall 2020


I am from

Where bachata meets hip hop

Where “oye ven acá” meets “ayoooo”

Where the loopy loops of curls meets the clackity clack of beaded braids

Where dominos and double dutch reign


I am from

Where the projects make you feel small

and the hallways seem to wind on forever

Where everyone knows everyone’s chisme

and everyone binds together


I am from

Where arroz con pollo could fill your belly

but don’t get it twisted,

that Chopped cheese, beef patty, oxtail plate

Or mangu could too


Where I am from

No one looks the same

Everyone speaks a different language

But we’re bound by our dreams

Put to the test

In our beloved concrete jungle


Gisel Bello is a New York City native, Afro-Dominicana, and a proud first-generation graduate. She is currently a fourth-year medical student at the Warren Alpert School of Medicine and serves as the Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Fellow there. Growing up, as the child of Dominican immigrants in the housing projects of Harlem, had its perks and challenges, to say the least, but writing was her way to catalog and process it all. For her, writing is synonymous with healing. In her writing, she delves deeper into the achy moments of her life, mining for nuggets of peace with what has transpired. Common themes in her writing are family, intergenerational trauma, women empowerment, love, healing, and sunshine. When she is not writing, she is collecting and empowering others to tell their own stories. This collection of audio stories is launching on March 6th, 2021, and can be found at youaremed.com