Students celebrate significance of Hispanic Heritage Month


Jose Enriquez feels the proudest of his Hispanic Heritage during Hispanic Heritage Month. He said that having a whole month to celebrate his culture and the contributions of his people to America makes him happy. Enriquez was born in Michoacán, Mexico and moved to the states with his parents and two brothers when he was one.

Hispanic Heritage Month is a month set aside to honor people of Hispanic ethnicity. It was established to recognize and appreciate the large influence Hispanic culture has on American culture  This celebration starts on Sept. 15 and ends on Oct. 15. The holiday was established in 1989 by President George H.W. Bush.

“To me, being Hispanic means having a rich culture where we would often meet on Sundays with all my family members and their friends. There will be lots of food, great music and laughter. Even during some breaks like Christmas and Thanksgiving, I would go back home to visit family members in Mexico,” Enriquez said.

Noemi Ibarra, a sophomore pre-dental hygiene major, said that a tradition her family holds to honor this month is first kicking it off with great food such as mole, enchiladas and famous street tacos. Then, they party and dance all night.

“Although I believe that the Hispanic Heritage Month gets as much recognition as it deserves, I would love to see more representation of it on campus. I think CAB and SGA could do events like inviting a keynote Hispanic speaker or hosting a movie night where they screen an acclaimed Spanish film,” Ibarra said.

Madison Hernandez, a junior political science major, said that she does not think Hispanic Heritage Month gets as much recognition as it deserves. She believes that it often gets overlooked and like Cinco De Mayo, most people do not know the real purpose of the holiday.

“We should embrace the different cultures that we are fortunate to interact with, not only Hispanic cultures. Not everyone’s experience within their culture is the same and we should respect that. We should also want to learn more about what their culture means to them and how we may be able to interact with them.” Hernandez said.

Enriquez said that during this month, he has not seen anything on campus regarding Hispanic Heritage Month, but he does his part in recognizing this month through his job as a DJ at the KXUL radio station.

He said since there is a large population of Hispanic students here at the university, the school could do more to educate the entire campus about Hispanic culture.