¡Bienvenidos para la mes de Hispanic and Latinx culturas! This 30-day celebration highlights all Hispanic and Latinx cultures and their history.
“This celebration dates back to 1968 with President Lyndon Johnson, but it was not until 1988 under the presidency of Ronald Reagan that it became officially a month of celebrations, from September 15th through October 15th,” said Vilma Butera, DSU Spanish Professor.
“I think it’s important to celebrate and recognize this month because it’s an opportunity for our community to be shined one and show pride in all of our beautiful history and cultures. Not only is it a time to be proud, but also educate others on our cultures and histories,” said Reneta Garcia, a DSU Dreamer.
According to the Pew Research Center, approximately 18.4% of Hispanics live in the United States, that’s around 62.1 million people.
The labels “Hispanic” and “Latinx” month are umbrella terms for the multi-racial community. There are over 20 countries that belong to the community, all with different cultures, languages, customs, and histories.
“I wish others would understand that we’re not all in the same cultures and places. There’s a big misconception that everyone is in one group like Mexican but there are so many other groups. I don’t think we should be generalized when it takes little effort to educate ourselves on different ethnicities,” said Reneta.
In regards to the U.S Population, according to Pew Research, The top three Hispanic origin groups are the Mexican population which is around 37,000, Puerto Ricans with around 6,000, and Cubans with 3,000.
But there are over 20 origin groups in the U.S, and 60,000 Hispanics noted having origins in other countries.
Generalization isn’t the only struggle the Hispanic and Latinx communities have. Many countries have had their own singular plights throughout history, and still to this day.
“There are many debates about the Hispanic and Latino terms. Many have confined the term Hispanic to define someone whose first language is Spanish. Others prefer the word “Latino” because it embraces other countries that do not have Spanish as their official language, such as Brazil. However, we are a group joined not just by language, but by our struggles and by our interrelated history,” said Butera.
Many countries have had their own singular plights throughout history.
“Through history, there have been frequent political instability in the Latin American countries due to a variety of civil wars, unemployment, corruption, resource depletion, etc. All those problems have caused many families to seek a better place to thrive and raise their descendants,” said Butera
For many, there are still adversity and challenges to this day.
Recently, the increasing violence is forcing people to abandon their places of origin under a cloud of uncertainty. Those people left family, friends, and everything familiar to them. I believe that it is important for others to get to know more about the forces that propelled and shaped the unbreakable spirit of those, who despite having nothing, have become productive members of the United States,” said Butera
Some of these struggles in the Hispanic and Latinx community can be seen here at Delaware State University according to Garcia.
“A certain one right now Is DACA trying to get ended which would affect me and thousands of other dreamers that contribute so much to this country. And the current bill that is trying to get passed so that we can finally have citizenship.”
Further Garcia commented that,
“In the current times we are in right now politically I think it’s very important to educate what a struggle the Latinx and Hispanic community constantly go through in the U.S. People in situations like me and my peers that are fortunate enough to have DACA are in a state of limbo. We never know if we will be stripped of this or what will happen in the future. With the topic of Daca and undocumented individuals, it can take a huge mental toll on our community and I don’t believe that it’s very talked-about.”
“We don’t know if we’ll continue with DACA and gain a pathway for citizenship or if we’ll be in a fear of possible deportation. To help people in these situations I ask for people to educate themselves and listen to our communities cry for help and support,” added Garcia.
To celebrate and raise awareness for these cultures, is it
It is common to see families celebrate this month with a family gathering, cultured music, attire, and ethnic food. Each culture has its own customs for celebrating, that’s what makes this community so special, their unique identity.
Reminiscing about when she was back home, Garcia recalled that,
“Typically back home I’ll have a family gathering. Some activities we’ll do are playing games like Loteria or Basta. We also all cook traditional Mexican dishes like tamales and mole. Along with desserts such as flan and buñelos.”
“I celebrate my Hispanic/Latin origins daily in my workplace. I teach Spanish. Culture is an important element when it comes to acquiring and teaching a second language. Therefore, there is not a day when I step in my classrooms when I can separate the language from the culture of those countries South of the United States,” said Butera
“I make my students aware of the importance of this month. At home, my family and I enjoy the preparation of Honduran cuisine. I also participate via the Internet in the celebration of Honduras’ independence along with my family,” added Butera.
Even if you are not a part of the community, it is important to participate as we celebrate, support, and raise awareness.
“The best way to celebrate this month is to educate yourself about the presence of Hispanics/Latinos in America, why we are here, and our contributions to this country throughout history,” said Butera.
“If you are not of Hispanic or Latinx heritage, be part of the different festivals, gatherings, and community activities prepared for this month. Be supportive of diversity,” added Butera