We Cannot Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month Without Celebrating Immigrants

by Diego Ojeda

Between September 15 and October 15, the United States celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month, honoring the people of Hispanic origin within the United States. The initial 1968 proclamation created Hispanic Heritage Week, and it was repeated yearly for twenty years. In 1988, President Ronald Reagan expanded it and signed into law as Hispanic Heritage Month. It urges the American people, especially educational entities, to observe Hispanic heritage and culture with appropriate ceremonies and activities.

Many public and private schools, especially those in which Spanish is taught, carry out cultural activities that seek to inform students about the Hispanic community. PiƱatas, papel picado, music in Spanish, and the sharing of Hispanic food are all popular ways to celebrate this month. All of these activities are well-intentioned and fun for students. But are they meeting the goal of helping our students appreciate, understand, and respect the Hispanic community for the rest of their lives?

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