We're not Hispanic or Latinx, (click here to see the difference between those words) so why should we bother?
What is Hispanic Heritage Month and why is there such a thing?
In 1968 , President Johnson started off the current tradition with Hispanic Heritage Week.
Now it runs for a full month from September 15th to October 15th every year.
This month is set aside to focus on and honor contributions made by Hispanic and Latinx Americans.
I'm sure you can think of some off the top of your head; Cesar Chavez, Sonia Sotomayor, and Lin Manuel Miranda.
There are so many who have made a positive and impactful difference to our country.
According to Census.gov, the Des Plaines population is 19.2% Hispanic which is slightly higher than the national percentage of 18.5%.
If your family lives here and isn't Hispanic or Latinx, it's very likely that your neighbors are.
The person who lives next door to you could be from Cuba, Guatemala or even Ecuador.
When vecinos (neighbors) learn about each other, connections are made.
Relationships form and communities grow stronger.
Hispanic Heritage Month provides us with the chance to celebrate diversity, explore new perspectives, and fight racism.
I think we should celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month (and Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, Black History Month, etc.) not because it's a national celebration or because it's considered culturally appropriate but because our diversity is what makes us a successful country.
The idea of synergy comes back to me; we can achieve much greater things together than we can on our own.
We should take every opportunity to learn about those around us and acknowledge our collective significance.
Here are some websites with information and resources for you and your family;
"When people honor each other, there is a trust established that leads to synergy, interdependence, and deep respect. Both parties make decisions and choices based on what is right, what is best, what is valued most highly."
- Author Blaine Pardoe