Failure to recognize Hispanic Heritage Month

Lack of acknowledgement for Hispanic students and staff


Crystal Diaz

Hispanic Heritage Month started on Sept. 15, and I was so excited to celebrate my heritage because I am proud of my culture. However, I was disappointed to see Park do nothing to celebrate students and staff who are Hispanic. 

Although Hispanics make up 13 percent of Park’s demographics, it is surprising for them not to be acknowledged and honored this month — Hispanic or not, it is well deserved. I believe there are many ways to incorporate celebrating this month into our school life, Whether that is learning about important historical hispanic figures like Cesar Chavez, Selena Quintanilla and Sonia Sotamayor or learning about traditions and dances. 

It may sound odd that Hispanic Heritage Month starts in the middle of September, but it is because Hispanic Heritage Month kicks off the first day with Guatemalan, Honduran, Costa Rican, Salvadoran and Nicaraguan independence day. It holds remarkable importance because those countries fought for their independence and deserve to be celebrated. Hispanic Heritage Month started 1988, but two years before that, it originally started off as Hispanic Heritage Week. 

I’ve personally grown up loving my culture. All the food, music and traditions are so unique. I haven’t seen much representation of my people. At Park, unfortunately, it is quite a letdown. I personally believe Park needs to include more hispanics and represent us, and all people of color. A great way to do this is to paint a mural; it could be a constant reminder of what this school is built of. 

Hispanic heritage month to me is a reminder of my culture and my people. Language is a big part of my culture. English isn’t my first language, and going to this school and not being represented during this month terrifies me that I’ll lose the connection I have to my culture.

I am a Mexican American with immigrant parents who have hustled to give me everything they couldn’t get. My parents have worked twice as hard as other people just to get half the privilege other people automatically get. I recognize that and I’m grateful to have such hardworking parents. They have taught me about my culture, language, music and food. Park is a predominately white school and, like I said earlier, I’m scared I will lose my language.

Hispanic Heritage Month ends Oct. 15, and  I will continue to hope for Park to give adequate recognition to hispanic students and staff.