Hispanic Heritage Month, celebrated from September 15th to October 15th, empowers the achievements and contributions of Hispanic Americans to Hispanic culture throughout history and acknowledges the unique and diverse traditions of Hispanic heritage.
In order to learn more about how St. John’s students celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month this year, seniors David Mojano and Heidy Martinez elaborated on how they observed this national holiday.
David and Heidy are of Hispanic Heritage, specifically from an El Salvadoran background, speak Spanish with their families, and celebrate Hispanic holidays, incorporating “their own unique Hispanic traditions” (Mojano, and celebrating with “extended family and friends” (Martinez). Despite their comparable background, David and Heidy have slightly contrasting views on Hispanic Heritage Month and their experiences when celebrating this holiday, as well.
In addition, both David and Heidy eloquently described the importance of celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, for people of Hispanic Heritage and those who are not of Hispanic Heritage. David said; “culture is meant to be shared, not appropriated” traditions should be shared and differences empowered so “others can embrace the beauty of other cultures instead of disrespecting it”. David mentioned that observing this holiday and learning more about Hispanic culture is especially important for people who are Hispanic: “Us as Hispanics need to appreciate our own culture because I feel like we don’t appreciate it as much as we should living in the US”.
Heidy said; “It’s important to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month since it provides the history and diversity of the Hispanic/Latinx community”. Regardless of whether or not you are of “Hispanic Heritage, it is important to learn about the contributions and influences that were brought to society by the Hispanic/ Latinx community”.
David mentioned he did not formally celebrate this year, whereas Heidy “[celebrated] Hispanic Heritage Month at home with [her] family. [They watched] documentaries about important Hispanic figures, [listened] to music and ate delicious/classic Latino dishes”.
Lastly David and Heidy reflected and shared their hopes for how the St. John’s community could celebrate Hispanic Heritage month in the future. Heidy thought that St. John’s should offer a “Hispanic Heritage Month assembly that teaches the student body about the Hispanic/Latino culture through music, dances, food and guest speakers”. David, on the other hand, had the idea of holding a “festival where all the countries of Latin America are represented along with foods and traditions. It would be a fun way of including others into our culture”.