As Spanish Club President for the second year in a row, I wanted to honor Hispanic Heritage Month like I did last year, but I had to adapt to a new virtual setting. Being Hispanic myself, I think it is important to not only recognize but celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. Starting on September 15 and ending on October 15, Hispanic Heritage Month is often forgotten or ignored. I feel it is my responsibility to educate people about hispanic issues and history in the United States.
The meeting began just like that – a short presentation that explained what Hispanic Heritage Month is and some of its history. The presentation included a “Now This” video of different Hispanic people explaining the significance of the month. We also defined the words Hispanic, Latinx, and Spanish, all of which are often misused and all have some connection to the Hispanic community. In short, Hispanic is someone from a spanish speaking country; Latinx is the gender neutral term for someone who is from Latin America which includes Central and South America and the Caribbean; Spanish is simply someone from the country of Spain. There is a lot of overlap between these terms, but it is still important to understand the differences and how they affect someone’s identity. Finally we watched a short video from parenting.com lighting influential hispanics throughout US History.
Following this presentation, we opened up for a discussion about issues facing the Hispanic community today. We touched on topics personal to me and many other Hispanics including immigration and prejudices against Hispanics. It was a wonderful discussion in which club members of all different backgrounds, not all Hispanic themselves, shared personal experiences and observations.
Ms. Guerra, the Spanish Club’s teacher moderator, said, “It was wonderful to get together and celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month by hearing students sharing stories about themselves and their families and how their identities have been shaped by living in the United States.” Nicole Rangoussis ‘21, the vice president, says “It was really cool to hear about people’s different cultural backgrounds and experiences.” Sofia Gonzalez ‘23, club secretary, said “The first meeting was extremely interesting and I liked how we cleared up common misconceptions regarding the meaning of what it means to be Latino/Latina, Hispano/ Hispana, and Latinx. I also liked how people in the meeting were able to share their different views on immigration.”