Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month

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Marilyn Gomez Landaverde

This photograph is of a real-time HOPE meeting at Parkview High School.

The celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated worldwide, including at Parkview through clubs such as Parkview Hispanic Organization Promoting Education on September 15 through October 15, by having activities, concerts, parades, food, and more.

Every year Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated, appreciating the history and contributions of Hispanics. It all started in 1968 when President Lyndon B. Johnson implemented the holiday for one week, then it was extended by President Ronald Reagan to a 30-day celebration.

It starts on September 15 as it’s the independence anniversary of Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. Mexico and Chile had their independence days on September 16 and September 18.

Throughout history, the Hispanic community left an ingrained influence on the U.S. economy and culture. National Hispanic Heritage Month traditionally honors it.

It encourages people to think about all Hispanics’ contributions. It is also an event that makes us acknowledge that being together as one is better.

HOPE had a meeting on September 22, 2021, to begin the celebration for Hispanic Heritage Month. The club encouraged students to wear shirts that signified their heritage for this meeting, including soccer team shirts, boots, and Mexican-style shirts.

A senior HOPE member, Kassandra Gomez Estrada, says,” I am learning a lot about my heritage. We will celebrate it by doing a contest on who dresses on their heritage and playing Loteria. Having fun with their friends. It makes me happy.”

As they celebrate, they dance to upbeat music like bachata Hispanic/Latin music. Some people danced, but most felt shy or did not participate. There was one group in particular that danced and sang along. In the end, everyone was enjoying this event.

After this activity, students were shown a slideshow with questions that asked about their heritage. For instance, “What is your heritage?”, “What is your favorite Hispanic dish?”, and “What is a cultural tradition you participate in?” and many more. The conversation then turned into a group discussion communicating what they have learned about each other.

After the group discussion, students watched a video by the Co-founder of HOPE, David Araya, who spoke about heritage. He says, “Family is everything.” Letting others know heritage is essential since it is in all of us in our family.

Oddly, they suddenly started to talk about shapes like a triangle, circle, square, and Z. They all had to choose one and get into the group they chose. Sophomore HOPE president,Veronica Ortiz Herrera, explained,”Depending on what shape they choose, they are going to find a way that they have something in common.” It shows similarities between each other to show and gain values.

Furthermore, this was just one event they had planned. HOPE has more activities that students can participate in as part of celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, including Loteria, a traditional Hispanic game.