By Logan Desilets
October. The month of the annual day off from school, raking leaves, and of course Halloween. October, in addition to its foliage and festivity, is Latin American Heritage Month.
Latin American Heritage Month recognizes Latin American contributions to the United States and celebrates Latin American and Hispanic culture. Latin American Heritage month technically begins on September 15, when the prominent Latin American countries of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua became independent in 1968. However, many today refer to October as Latin American Heritage month for sake scheduling and monthly demarcation.
Here at Worcester State, multicultural programming on campus is raising awareness of this special month by organizing events, such as a film night and speakers coming to campus, to help emphasize Latin American Heritage Month. On October 11, award-winning author and speaker Pedro Medina Leon will be speaking about using language as a form of resistance. On October 18, speaker Esmeralda Santiago will be speaking about when she was Puerto Rican. Attendance is highly encouraged.
Carlos Odria, a Peruvian-born communications professor at Worcester State who immigrated to the United States in 2005, feels that Latin American Heritage Month is as important to him as it is to define America.
“It means part of my personal history [and] defines in a way who I am in many ways of my identity and personality, but at the same time, Latin America is this constellation of different cultures.”
Over the last 50 years, Latin Americans have been making huge impacts around the world and throughout the US is today. Being the largest minority in the United States, consisting of 18 percent of the population with 57.5 million people of Hispanic or Latino origin in 2017, it is crucial that we recognize what Latinx Americans have done for this country.
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Logan Desilets can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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