posted on October 12, 2023
Hispanic Heritage Month, celebrated from September 15th to October 15th, holds a special place in the hearts of immigrants, particularly those of Latino and Hispanic descent. For Hispanic/Latino immigrants, this month serves as a poignant reminder of their unique journey, their resilience, and the significance of their cultural heritage in shaping their lives. In this blog, we will explore the profound importance of Hispanic Heritage Month to immigrants and how it becomes a platform for them to celebrate their roots.
A Connection to Roots
For immigrants, Hispanic Heritage Month provides a vital link to their roots. Many Latino and Hispanic immigrants come to the United States in pursuit of a better life, but they carry their cultural traditions and values with them. This celebration allows my family and my people to maintain our roots, traditions, stories, and a sense of identity that might otherwise be lost in the process of assimilation. For example, one of the traditions I still do to this day is the preparation of Hallacas(Venezuelan holiday dish) during Christmas. Preparing this dish requires help so all the family comes over, we listen to Gaitas, drink sangria, and we cook, it’s a great bonding experience for our family. We take a lot of pride in teaching our roots and ensuring that our heritage is passed on to the next generation.
A Source of Strength
Immigrating to a new country can be a challenging and often daunting experience. Hispanic Heritage Month offers a source of strength for immigrants, reminding them of the resilience and determination of our community. When I first moved to this country doing anything was very difficult, making friends, asking for help, paying attention in class. I learned about Hispanic Heritage month in ESL class and I was so amazed when I learned about Cesar Chavez or Ellen Ochoa, it made me believe that I had a chance to be like them and that I could achieve anything. Hispanic Heritage month serves as a source of inspiration for us to overcome the inevitable hurdles that our people go through.
A Celebration of Diversity
The Hispanic community here in the United States is incredibly diverse, representing countries from Mexico to Spain, and from Cuba to Chile, among others. Hispanic immigrants from these nations often find themselves living in the same community, this allows for them to not only to share their own unique stories and experiences but learn about the experiences of other members of their community. When I got here one of my first friends was from Mexico and I have never learned more from Mexico before. I was fascinated with their rich history and how different yet similar our cultures were. Not only was I learning about other hispanic countries, I was also teaching kids in the US about Venezuela. The amount of times that I got “where in Mexico is Venezuela in” or “do you guys eat a lot of tacos?” I had to educate people about where I’m from and how it’s different, had to explain that not everyone that is hispanic/latino is illegal, that not everyone eats tacos or burritos. By breaking down barriers, we can dispel stereotypes, promote understanding, and showcase the value Hispanic people bring to American society. This sharing of culture often leads to a stronger connection.
A Celebration of Achievements
Many immigrants from Latino and Hispanic backgrounds who have made significant contributions to American society. From notable artists like Lin-Manuel Miranda who’s won multiple awards and the writer for the hit Broadway musical Hamilton to influential public figures like Roberto Clemente who I’m sure many of you know! Hispanic and Latino immigrants take pride in these accomplishments, as they often reflect the determination and potential of their own journeys.
Hispanic Heritage month gives the opportunity to my people to show everyone what we got, what we’ve accomplished and what we can do in the future. I am proud to be Venezuelan, Happy Hispanic Heritage month!!