Eva Mendes wants to keep daughter Esmeralda close to her Latin roots

New mom Eva Mendes, who has a 1-year-old daughter Esmeralda with Ryan Gosling, has opened up about her close-knit Cuban family and how she is raising her daughter to be aware of her Latin roots. Speaking to Glam Belleza Latina, the 41-year-old also gave some insight into her own upbringing.

“We lived in a little Cuban community in Los Angeles around a lot of Latinos…[so I had] a really heavy Cuban influence, yet I was American," she said. "I’m super fortunate to have had the best of both worlds.”

"I really appreciate my family, more than ever," says Eva in a new interview Photo: Getty Images

She explained that she is keen to raise her daughter in a similar environment. “When my mom and sisters visit, they take over the house…yelling in Spanish, English, Spanglish," she continued. "They sing [my daughter Esmeralda] all these Cuban nursery songs that I forgot my mom used to sing to me. I really appreciate my family, now more than ever. I’m so happy that my little girl gets to grow up with this.”

Eva, who is creative director of new makeup line Circa and is the face of New York & Company, also talked about how her family has influenced her latest beauty and fashion projects. “My mother is incredible. She never left the house with her hair done or without lipstick on.” she shared. “I have so many of her old photographs. I love a loose-fitting skirt with a cinched waist. A feminine silhouette is a no-stress zone – it’s comfortable.”

The star is a new mom, welcoming Esmeralda, whose father is actor Ryan Gosling, a year ago Photo: Getty Images

The Place Beyond The Pines actress also reflected on how the film industry has changed during her career and about the increased possibilities that Latino actors have these days. “It’s a great time. I remember reading scripts when I started in the business, nearly 15 years ago, and [Latino roles] were either non-existent or written as the maid or a drug dealer," she said. "We’re no longer just that. I’ll play any part that challenges me. What’s important is that all races have choices.”

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