Taking Pride in Being Hispanic

Daniela Powell, reporter

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The beauty of the Hispanic community all begins with the historic consistence of Hispanic and Latino Americans in North America. As inspirational engagement manager at Jopwell Sol Peralta once said

” Your individuality is important, but so is belonging. Recognize the parts of your culture that have shaped your past, and the parts you want to carry with you into the future.””

— Sol Peralta

Being a part of the latino body allows for cultural events such as Hispanic Heritage month to be recognized further. Honoring famous Hispanic figures empowers a greater understanding and deeper appreciation for the enduring contributions of latinos to our country. The diverse stories and experiences that are unfolded throughout the course of this month enables the reflection of latino presence in our history and culture.

Stories and connections of achievements made by historical latino figures continue to inspire generations to come. As this month is made known around Eaglecrest high school, many students a part of the Hispanic community notice the importance of embracing their culture.

“My family and I usually have Hispanic get-togethers in which we celebrate our latin roots, in addition to visiting Mexico every year” mentioned by Hispanic student Dulce Garcia.

Through various Hispanic figures openly embracing their culture throughout history, it has allowed for the consistency of Hispanic students calling themselves a “proud latino/a”. The more Hispanic families encourage integrating themselves with their latin traditions, the greater the Hispanic community grows.

Supported by latina student Paloma Valverde, “My parents focused a lot on us learning spanish and being able to read it– it was a constant reminder for me of my spanish traditions” ensuring the development of spanish ideals within latin kids.

Therefore the significance of expanding latin community awareness just as Hispanic Heritage month does– through the encouragement of reading books written by Hispanic authors– is imperative.

As a step to expanding latino awareness among students, The Latinos Unidos club undergoes much focus on the members to embrace their culture. During Hispanic Heritage month, Valverde who is a member of the Latinos Unidos club noted that the team works in “collaborating with the school library making banners and signs to promote the spanish books featured for the Hispanic cause.”

Although this specific group has made efforts to increase Hispanic awareness, the problem of “It [not being] on a very large of a scale” was also raised by Valverde.

In relation to that, suggestions by several Hispanic students including Garcia to “possibly hold schoolwide events to honor each culture heritage month, and having an actual Hispanic festival” were presented as a solution.

Through the experiences and commitments members of Latinos Unidos endure, it has created an additional incentive to expand the Hispanic Heritage month purpose and effect. According to the current Latinos Unidos president, Giacomo Gambini, “Being in Latinos Unidos has really helped [him] accept [his] identity as a latino as [he] is usually shy and now is proud of being a latino instead of hiding it.”

Being involved in certain groups such as this, sets the path to expanding the Hispanic community, impacting latinos in their own personal lives.

In order for the Spanish community to continue developing, it is the main responsibility of Spanish teachers to promote that consistency within school. As a Spanish speaking teacher, Ms.Soto believes in “making an effort to really get [her] students aware of the influences that Hispanics have had in our community and our history” with the intent to impel her students to learn about their culture.

As Spanish cultured students come to school every day, the more they are exposed to that environment the more effective events such as Hispanic Heritage month could be.

Although “ We could do more, as a whole it’s up to the Spanish teachers to do something” as stated Soto.

The result of impacts on the students are reflected on how well the teacher teaches them. Spanish teachers such as Ms. Soto  “read literature and listen to news all in spanish so [she] can keep up her spanish, and is also an activist so [she] is involved in Hispanic rights” assuring that the education her students receive will be qualitative and accurate.

Being a Hispanic teacher she also supports that “Latinos Unidos has done a wonderful job bringing kids together from all kinds of backgrounds” representing how latino students coming together can make a change within the Hispanic community.

For this reason, the effect of keeping Hispanic Heritage month as a pathway to inspiration is experienced all the time, not just during this month. It is essential to remind the Hispanic community of all the accomplishments their past generations fulfilled.  The more latino students are encouraged to partake in Hispanic Heritage month events, the greater of an impact organizations such as Latinos Unidos would make in the school community. Although further improvements could be made, it is honoring that as a school we include Hispanic Heritage month as part of our curricular activities.

As a final result our latino community needs to understand to “ Be brave. Take risks. [because] nothing can substitute experience” stated by Brazilian widely read author, Paulo Coelho.

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