One of the fastest rising ethnicities in the United States has a big reason to celebrate this fall. Hispanic Heritage month is a month of joy, celebration and remembrance for Hispanics all across the United States, beginning Sept. 15 and running through Oct. 15.
September 15 was chosen as this celebration’s start date in order to coincide with the Independence Day celebrations of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile observe their independence on September 16 and September 18, respectively.
This commemorative month honors the impact and influence of Hispanics in all categories of society, including politics, art and science.
This month does not go unnoticed at Dominican University. The Organization of Latin American Students (OLA) holds many events and other small activities to celebrate this month. Every October they hang flags on the Rebecca Crown Library staircase that represent most Hispanic countries.
One of their largest events is the Hispanic Heritage Reception. This is held on Oct. 15, beginning at 7 p.m. This event offers food, entertainment and music. An award is also presented to someone who exemplifies Hispanic qualities, and the night ends with music and dancing.
Carmen Gutierrez, Vice President of OLA, believes that this is OLA’s favorite month. “This is when OLA represents the Hispanic Culture to most of the Dominican community; we get to give them a little taste of our culture which is really exciting,” she said.
Edgar Nieto, a junior of Mexican decent also enjoys Hispanic Heritage month. “I love when this month comes around because we Hispanics get to show our pride as a common group and get to spread our culture to those around us,” Nieto said.
Hispanics are not the only cultural group who enjoy this month.
James Johnson, an African American believes Hispanic Heritage month is a wonderful opportunity for Hispanics to be recognized.
“I think it’s a great month, because the Hispanic culture gets to be nationally recognized,” Johnson said.
– Rene Howard-Paez, Staff Reporter