Celebrando El Mes De La Herencia Hispana

Students And Staff Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month


Paper flowers hypnotize in a vibrant display, their colors dazzling passing onlookers. Women in traditional gowns smile and twist their skirts in an elaborate dance. A band in the background plays lively music on guitars, trumpets, and violins.

Sept. 15 marked the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month: a month that, according to the Library of Congress, is for celebrating the “the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.”

“Hispanic Heritage Month means that we, as a nation, have the opportunity to celebrate the contributions that Hispanics have made in this country,” Spanish teacher Cristina Gomez-Jiminez said. “I have always valued my culture and my traditions, which is why I celebrate being a Latina every day.”

The tradition first began in 1968 in California as Hispanic Heritage Week to commemorate the contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans. Since then, Hispanic Heritage Month has been declared a national celebration of culture.

“Hispanic Heritage Month means a lot to me because I have friends that are Hispanic and it is something that is special and appreciated with my family and others,” Joslin Russo (9) said.

The Student Council’s Diversity Committee has created materials to share information about Hispanic Heritage Month and Hispanic culture. Some teachers have taken time to discuss the history of Hispanic Heritage Month and its cultural importance in their classes.

“I celebrate every day in my classroom by not only teaching the Spanish language, but also by sharing my rich, beautiful, and colorful culture with my students,” Gomez-Jiminez said. “I believe that it is important to teach the ‘why’ behind each tradition and also break the misconceptions and stereotypes. Hispanic culture is much more than just our delicious food. I would like them to know about the contributions that Hispanics have made to the state and country.”

Students and their families have also held their own celebrations to commemorate Hispanic Heritage Month and Hispanic culture.

“Hispanic culture is everywhere here in Texas,” Carah Woods (12) said. “I love seeing its influences all around me. It’s important to celebrate the achievements of Hispanic people and all that they have done to better our country and our community.”

Overall, students and staff have enjoyed the opportunity to take part in the celebration of Hispanic culture and to honor their contributions to the United States.

“We have contributed Medal of Honor recipients, we have made an impact to society through educators, historians, resources, chocolate, inventions, and the list goes on,” Gomez-Jiminez said. “Passing down our culture and our traditions to our next generation is of high importance. I want my children to be proud of being a Latino.”