This Hispanic Heritage Month, students shared what their heritage means to them and how they celebrate throughout the holiday.
Hispanic Heritage Month recognizes and celebrates the influence of Hispanic Americans on the history, culture and achievements of the United States. The month of celebration and recognition starts on Sept. 15 and ends on Oct. 15.
The day of Sept. 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence from Spain for Latin American countries including Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on Sept. 16 and Sept. 18.
Students are celebrating their traditions during Hispanic Heritage Month in various ways, and the holiday means something different for each of them. Amaury Flores, a junior accounting major, said his culture shaped him as a man, and he wouldn’t change it for the world.
“The lessons I was taught by my foreign parents shaped me to be the man I am today,” Flores said. “My everyday lifestyle was built upon the culture they taught me.”
Danyeris López Guzmán, a junior diplomacy and international relations double major, said her favorite parts about her culture are the music and dancing.
“There is nothing that brings my family together as much as that [music and dance],” López Guzmán said. “It’s beautiful to see my younger sisters dress up in traditional dresses and dance Dominican Folclórico.”
López Guzmán said that throughout the month, she makes sure to keep close contact with the clubs and communities on campus that embrace their culture and heritage. She added that Hispanic Heritage Month is a small celebration for such a large expanse of unique cultures.
“This month-long celebration to me is truly a small attempt at celebrating the richness of Latin America and the Caribbean Islands,” López Guzmán said. “But I will say that it is refreshing to be offered the opportunity to expose others to it.”
Bella Rosario, a sophomore biology major, said that it is always fun to share cultures and histories and get to know people on a deeper level.
“It’s [her culture] a part of me that connects me to a beautiful part of the world full of creativity and love,” Rosario said. “Learning about my family and our struggles is inspiring and drives me to succeed.”
Rosario added that she also celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month by honoring her ancestors.
“As a second-generation Hispanic-American, it means so much to have a month celebrating the tenacity of our ancestors and recognizing their struggle,” Rosario said. “Puerto Ricans and Dominicans fought their own battles for freedom, and we continue as many are still fighting for equal opportunities today.”
Rosario said that she encourages others to talk with their families and try something new within their culture, especially throughout this month.
“There’s nothing wrong with being proud,” Rosario said. “Honoring where you came from is respectful to those who fought for you and who you will fight for in the future.”
Serena Davis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.