Students Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

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Photo by Mrs. Fernandez

Mrs. Fernandez and her Mother in Lima Peru.

Written by Daniel Alvarez, Carrie Nichols, and Sarah Murtaugh

With colorful celebrations and spicy foods, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15th to October 15th and recognize the history, culture, and contributions of Latino and Hispanic Americans. This celebration began in 1968 under President Lyndon B. Johnson, and was expanded upon 20 years later by Ronald Reagan to last 30 days.

The 15th day of September is significant because it marks the anniversary of independence for six countries: El Salvador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, and Mexico also celebrates its week of independence during this time.

Many Hispanics have taken great risks to come to the United States with hopes of attaining a better future for themselves and their families. Hispanics enrich American culture by bringing innovation and creativity to everything, from sports and music to medicine and literature. Students here at Woodgrove carry their traditions adding their past to their future.

Junior Isaac Barona embraces his Peruvian palate by eating traditional dishes. “I eat fish tacos, Ceviche, and Aji de Gallina,” he says.

Senior Elizabeth Aramayo, whose lineage is traced back to Bolivia, spoke about how her mother carries memories from home through music. They try to connect the good parts of the country they left to the new one they came to.

“There are festivals here that kind of reincorporate what it was like down there,” says Aramayo.

A festival in Washington, D.C. on September 16th and 17th celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month. Even if one doesn’t have Hispanic heritage, it is a way to learn and celebrate a different type of culture. Not to mention the sacrifice many Hispanics have had to face, leaving their home country and families behind when coming to the United States.

Senior Andres Soler Parilla, who has left behind some family in Puerto Rico, says, “I haven’t seen my family in two years.”

For many people that would be hard to imagine. Luckily, technology now offers an accessible way of keeping in touch with distant loved ones. Mrs. Fernandez, one of Woodgrove High School’s Spanish teachers, talks to her mother and sister on the phone two to three times a day despite the distance. Mrs. Fernandez has family from Spain and Peru, and she was the first one in her family to come to the states. Her sister is now also in the states living in Georgia.

She says, “You carry who you are wherever you go. You are who you are, and you share it with whoever you meet.”