Let’s Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

¡Uno, dos, tres! ¡Celebremos el 15 de septiembre!

To many Americans, September 15 doesn’t hold significance as an important holiday. However, September 15 marks the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month, an event lasting from September 15 to October 15 where everyone is encouraged to celebrate the histories, cultures, and contributions of Americans with ancestors from Mexico, Central America, South America, the Caribbean, and Spain.

You may be asking, why September 15?

September 15 holds much significance to Hispanics, as it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. The following day, September 16, is Mexico’s independence day, and shortly after is Chile’s independence day on September 18.

Hispanic Heritage Month offers a time of the year where Hispanics and Latinos are acknowledged and honored as a beautiful part of U.S. society. The United States was created from immigrants with big dreams to create and be a part of a country with better opportunities. Hispanic Heritage Month reminds everyone that Hispanics/Latinos are an integral part of U.S. society while reflecting on the hardships we have had to face.

As a member of the Hispanic community, Hispanic Heritage Month reminds me that I have a colorful culture with traditions passed down from beloved ancestors who won’t be forgotten. I asked DJ Rodriguez (Hispanic/Latino) what Hispanic Heritage Month means to him. He explained, “It allows us to be recognized and seen and get together and share our culture from different countries. We get to come together and celebrate as one, it’s a beautiful thing, really.”

One major part of the Hispanic culture I deeply adore is when family and friends come together and share meals, laughs, and music. Speaking of which, this past Wednesday Hispanic Organization Promoting Education (HOPE) kicked off Hispanic Heritage Month with a potluck filled with cultural dishes from various Hispanic backgrounds.

I interviewed some HOPE members and leaders on their heritage. Here are some of their answers:

Q: What makes you proud to be Hispanic?

Ammi, HOPE VP of Development: Seeing from where my dad came from, it makes me proud to see how far anyone can go. If he could make it this far, I can make accomplish my goals too.

Rebecca and Diana, HOPE members: All the celebrations, culture, and traditions and how everyone complements our culture.

Q: Why do you think it’s important to celebrate Hispanic Culture?

Señora Smart, sponsor of HOPE club: It’s an integral part of the U.S. society. We’re a nation of immigrants, and a lot of immigrants have Hispanic Heritage, and it’s important to acknowledge that we Hispanics still carry culture and history.