Hispanic Heritage Month gains attention

Rebeca Sanchez, Reporter

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People say that Cinco de Mayo is the most exciting time for the Hispanic and Latino culture, but that is not entirely true. Hispanic Heritage Month is overlooked with other memorable holidays in the Caribbean, Central America and South America.

In National Hispanic Heritage Month website, it states that  Hispanic Heritage Month began with Lyndon Johnson’s presidency. His official announcement of Hispanic Heritage Week was in 1968, and as soon as 1988, President Ronald Reagan expanded this time to commemorate these cultures into an entire month between Sept. 15 and Oct. 15. This time was chosen because many Hispanic and Latin American countries are celebrating their independence during this time. Countries such as Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua celebrate their independence on Sept. 15th, while Mexico and Chile celebrate theirs Sept. 16 and 18, respectively.

Even though the United States celebrates Cinco de Mayo and provides an entire month to the Spanish speaking community, there are other days that should be celebrated as well like Día Del Niño, when kids are able to celebrate and enjoy themselves for an entire day. In Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, and California, festivals were held to celebrate their independence days by having traditional dancers and musicians. Also having famous Hispanic and Latino celebrities on television gives these countries the representation that they deserve. Another exciting advantage of having technology is being able to see the parades and other events happening in the native countries. People are seen enjoying themselves like there is no tomorrow and fireworks at the end of day just like the Fourth of July.

With many students that have a hard time reading and understanding the English language, I was able to experience the same when I went to Honduras when I was six years old. I didn’t know how to speak Spanish, so I felt very alone and didn’t like to go to school in another country. Even though I was young, I have reflected through that experience and other experiences by helping my family, friends, and classmates that have to overcome the language barriers and other challenges. I’m proud to be born in a Hispanic family with part of my life being a “normal” teenager and the other experiencing the Spanish culture of eating my mom’s cooking and watching fútbol with my dad and brother.