By Corinne Contreras
Hispanic Heritage month is celebrated from September 15 to October 15. It’s a celebration of the history and culture of the Latin-American community. Observance of this event first began in 1968 as just a week-long commemoration but was extended in 1988 to last a whole month. Throughout the course of Hispanic Heritage Month, many Latin American countries celebrate their independence days, including Mexico, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Chile, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. This is a beautiful time for Hispanic people to honor and remember their culture’s traditions, history, lifestyle, and contributions to society.
This is a month of happiness and pride where I can find extra joy in my culture. My family, on both sides, comes from parts of northern Mexico, where my grandparents lived before immigrating to the U.S. and becoming American citizens. I am a third-generation Mexican-American, and I love my heritage. The Mexican culture is very family-oriented, which is one of my favorite values that it has. It’s taught me the importance of familial relations and love. We also value hard work and education, and so I’ve grown up learning about the importance of working hard, learning, and being self-sufficient. Most of all, the people of Mexico have a vibrancy and love for life. We sing traditional songs, enjoy cultural dances like folklorico, and celebrate our ancestors and family.
Every Latin culture has its own beauties, values, and beliefs. Hispanic Heritage Month is a wonderful opportunity for members of the Latin community to be proud of who they are and celebrate their people. America is a melting pot full of different ethnic and racial groups. This month reserved for the Hispanic people is just one of other events, like Black History Month, and Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Every culture contributes to our American society, and from September 15 through October 15, Hispanic Heritage Month commemorates the culture and contributions of people from Mexico, the Caribbean, Spain, and Central and South America.