Midlo celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage recognizes the the generations of Hispanic Americans who have played a part in the development of United States.

Communities across the country embrace Hispanic history throughout September 15 to October 15.

Photo by: Sydney rae

Communities across the country embrace Hispanic history throughout September 15 to October 15.

From September 15 to October 15, Hispanic Heritage Month recognizes the important Hispanic American historical figures credited with enriching the communities and culture within the United States. Throughout the nation, individuals annually come together to shed light on the influential contribution and extensive accomplishments of the Hispanic community, an event that began in 1988. 

Hispanic Heritage present in the United States dates back to the first Spanish explorers in 1513, when Juan Ponce de Leon, searching for the alleged “Fountain of Youth,” instead stumbled upon the coast of Florida, followed by Pedro Menendez de Aviles, establishing the first ever Spanish settlement in St. Augustine over fifty-two years later. In 1898, The Spanish-American War ended with the United States gaining Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines, acting as a catalyst for future events, such as the Supreme Court ruling that granted equal protection for Mexican-Americans. Since then, a number of monumental moments in Hispanic and Latino history have occurred, most notably when the United States first extended citizenship to Puerto Ricans in the year 1917, which Hispanic Heritage Month aims to commemorate. 

The month holds tremendous significance, as it cherishes the history of Hispanic and Latinos in America, an idea brought to the attention of many by Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, who proclaimed, “For generations, Hispanic and Latino Americans have shaped our Commonwealth, and their stories are woven into the fabric of our communities,” when he publicly spoke on Thursday, September 17, 2020,  regarding the importance of the month. As Hispanic Heritage has become a prominent aspect in the development of American societies, Midlo’s Spanish teachers work to incorporate various lessons and projects surrounding the event into their classroom instruction. Mrs. Amira Moncada Ossorio’s level three Spanish students craft projects focusing on Spanish-speaking countries, while her Heritage classes work on presentations about Heritage countries. During their virtual time together, the class also takes the time to listen to music as a fun way to highlight either the artist’s or the writer’s notable work. The widely-popular legend of La Llorona makes it way to Ms. Travis Jimenez’s level four Spanish classes, as she exclaimed, “My classes celebrate Hispanic Heritage all year!” Sophomore Nicole Gamba recognizes the significance of bringing the event into classrooms, sharing, “Recognizing Hispanic culture points out its key difference from our own culture that we otherwise wouldn’t learn.”

Even with the challenges presented by the ongoing pandemic, numerous ways exist when looking to educate oneself and celebrate Hispanic and Latin culture during the month-long affair. Trying a new traditional recipe, such as Gambas al Ajillo or Tres Leches, allows individuals to immerse themselves in cultural delicacies. However, for those more interested in the arts, Hispanic films and music serve as another way to recognize the culture. Throughout the duration of the event, all Midlo students are encouraged to find new ways to learn about Hispanic Heritage Month. Click HERE to learn unique ways to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month.