Celebración de la Herencia y Cultura Hispana

Hispanic Heritage Month brings with it Community and Connections


Makayla Johnson

SHS member Alexa Bernard sets up a booth at Green Hope High School to spread awareness about Hispanic heritage.

Yan Zimnitskaya and Megan Khor

Hispanic Heritage Month, an almost 40 year tradition of celebrating the customs of American heroes of Hispanic culture, is coming to Green Hope. From September to October, North Carolina residents commemorate the holiday in a multitude of ways.

It takes courage to be kind sometimes, but doing this in addition to giving the gift of time to each other would help us create a better world where more people would feel like they belong.

— Sra. Susan Sanchez, Spanish III and IV Teacher

The celebration started as a weeklong holiday in 1968. It was created to highlight the independence days of South American and Caribbean countries, and the festival occurred between September 15th and 16th. In 1988, the week was extended to a month, adding more appreciation for the holiday. This year’s national theme is “Unidos: Inclusivity for a Stronger Nation.”

Hispanic Heritage Month teaches individuals to understand and appreciate different cultures, enabling people to be more open-minded and accepting of each other. 

National Spanish Honor Society’s adviser, Stra. Julie Ross, started teaching Spanish at Green Hope to advocate for a similar idea. “I believe that learning another language opens up your world… The more we can learn about different communities, the more we learn what personal connections we can make in our society,” she said.

Language provides a connection between people by allowing them to appreciate one another. Sra Susan Sanchez, a Spanish III and IV teacher at Green Hope, agreed.

Sra. Sanchez is an immigrant and has learned several languages, propelling her to empathize with Srta. Ross’ perspective. 

Onlookers watch as Yan Ziminskya plays traditional hispanic song, Una Malagueña, in the commons. (Megan Khor)

Teaching at Green Hope because of the diverse student population, Sra. Sanchez said, “I like hearing their stories about their family’s home countries.”

Culture too, bonds people. As someone of Hispanic heritage herself, Sra. Sanchez is excited about the community’s willingness to bring diversity awareness to this school.

Makayla Johnson (‘23), the president of Spanish Honor Society, aspires to feature different parts of Hispanic culture through tabling events in the Commons during lunch. SHS is hosting different activities and games to keep all Green Hope students learning and engaged. 

I hope that other people can see the beauty of it [Hispanic culture] and can experience it for themselves during this month too.

— Senior Makayla Johnson, Spanish Honor Society President

Hispanic heritage can also be found in many industries today. 

Celebrated throughout the Triangle, the Hispanic Heritage Celebration on October 1st commemorates local Hispanic soccer players through a cultural fair. Acknowledging both local Latino businesses and artists, it links the community. 

One of the many traditional dances of American Ancestors with Hispanic Heritage, the Jarabe Tapatío. (Sydney Rae)

Another cross-cultural annual celebration is Raleigh’s La Fiesta del Pueblo, which highlights different dances, foods and music. The event features Mexican street food, traditional handmade jewelry and embroidery bags, Puerto Rican Bomba Dance, and more. 

The month brings everyone together through the arts, food, dances and language from Hispanic culture, reminding us of the importance of this commemoration.

Hispanic Heritage Month is more than just a celebration of the country’s unity. It is a reminder of those who have fought for Hispanic citizens in the past, and of the people here in the present.