I never really thought about how much celebrating Hispanic Heritage month would mean to me until I realized how important being a Latina is as a part of my identity. Growing up in a diverse area in New Jersey, I got to learn a lot about my Colombian and Bolivian cultures because of my family getting me into festivals, customs, traditions, food, music, dance, and more. I grew up with traditions that I thought were normal such as the Hispanic- State parades that I often attended and even have been part of, but now not being able to celebrate this at a predominantly white school has made me realize how much it is needed and how important it is.
I am grateful for the school letting Arthur Garcia and me show our community a presentation about Hispanic Heritage month. We got the chance to show more about where we are both from and many other Hispanic and Latino cultures. We were able to inform about the reasons people choose to migrate to the US. Some of these reasons are so that they can live in freedom, practice their religion freely, escape poverty and oppression, find better employment opportunities, and for the most part, to make their lives better for themselves and their children. Arthur and I went into what our parents went through when they came to the US as an example.
Hispanic Heritage month originally lasted for only a week, established by President Lyndon Johnson in 1968, and then was expanded to a month under President Reagan in 1988. Hispanics and Latinos have made many contributions to American Society. The economy is one of the major contributions. They not only play roles as business owners and investors, but also being family members, students, and members of the armed forces. We thought it was important to highlight which countries were being represented at our school.
With this, we decided to explain the difference between Hispanics and Latinos, which people often get confused or are just unaware of the difference. Hispanics are people who come from a Spanish speaking country, and Latinos are based off of the more geographical definition of coming from the South American region. The Hispanic staff at Dublin shared their opinions about Hispanic Heritage month as well.
In the end, we recognized that it is so important to celebrate Hispanic heritage and cultures because it is important to celebrate all of our differences because it is what makes us such a beautiful and diverse nation. Celebrating our culture and heritage reminds us of where we come from and helps us value our families, the struggles they went through, and how valuable our contributions have been and will continue to be to improve our society.