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Hispanic women celebrating under falling confetti

Embracing our culture – Hispanic Heritage Month!

Natalia Muñoz-Moore

What does it mean to be Hispanic?

“While our (Hispanic) culture, traditions, and religion may differ, we pride ourselves on working hard, educating ourselves as much as possible, striving for better lives for our children, loving our often large and blended families, and sharing as much of our history and customs as we can with anyone who chooses to really see us. “We are not so different after all. People simply need to see us for who we are and not who they expect us to be,” Natalie Morales, an American actress, said.

We are proud to be Hispanic.

Our culture is one we wear with honor and during this year’s Hispanic Heritage Month, we invite everyone to join us in embracing it. We stand 63.7 million strong in the United States and we alone account for half of all the population growth in the U.S. for the last decade.

“Since the beginning, our country has drawn strength and insights from Hispanic writers, scientists, soldiers, doctors, entrepreneurs, academics, and leaders in labor and government. Our culture has been enriched by the rhythms, art, literature, and creativity of Hispanic peoples,” President Joe Biden says regarding Hispanic Heritage Month.

In the spirit of this month, bring the celebration into your homes and communities! Here are a few ideas of how you can bring it to you:

  1. Learn Spanish

Did you know that the U.S. is the fourth largest Spanish-speaking country in the world? In fact, the countries where Spanish is not an official language, the U.S. has 40 times the amount of Spanish speakers, according to a report done by the Instituto Cervantes. Spanish is the second most spoken language in the U.S. with over 42 million people speaking it at home. It’s safe to say that it’s a language worth learning! Get started now using these resources:

●      Toucan (an app)

●      Duolingo (an app)

●      Tune into a Spanish news station (print or broadcast)

●     Use the CambridgeDictionary

This isn’t where the list ends. Read about more resources here.

  1. Explore Hispanic-owned businesses in your community

Support your local Hispanic community through their business endeavors. Nearly one in four new businesses are Hispanic-owned according to the Joint Economic Committee Hispanic Entrepreneurship and Business Brief. That equates to nearly five million Hispanic-owned businesses in the U.S. contributing $800 billion to the American economy annually. That means there is plenty to choose from with no better time to support than now! Who knows, you may uncover a hidden gem in your community and make sure to spread the word about it.

  1. Talk to your kids about influential Hispanics

“Hispanic heritage holds an indelible place in the heart and soul of our Nation, and National Hispanic Heritage Month reminds us that theAmerican identity is a fabric of diverse traditions and stories woven together,” President Joe Biden says. The Hispanic culture has no doubt enhanced the American culture and there is still much to learn from Hispanics as a whole.

Refer back last year's blog on Hispanic Heritage Month to create a fruitful conversation with the kids – one about influential Hispanics.

The future is here and the future is together. Learning more about your neighbors can improve the world around us so let’s start now. Happy Hispanic Heritage Month!