Sometimes it takes us going all around the world to see what has been right in front of us all along. The beauty of America is the cultural diversity that makes up our country. The United States is made up of immigrants dating back to its very beginning. My family’s heritage is quite diverse, including cousins that are proud Latinos. I am proud of our family and the rainbow it represents. As we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, I want to pay honor, not only to my own family members, but also to my friends, neighbors and colleagues that have contributed to making America the beautiful country that it is.
The celebration started as a week in 1968 under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded to a month under President Ronald Reagan. September 15th – October 15th is now known as National Hispanic Heritage Month. It is to observe the history, culture and contributions of our Latin brothers and sisters to America. I am grateful we can celebrate the contributions of immigrants to our country during a specific month, but we should be mindful and remember everyone’s contributions on a continual basis. We are like a tapestry made up of many colors that, when woven together, make a beautiful piece of art. When you remove one thread it changes the dynamic of the final product. We are all in this together.
As far back as I can remember my life has been touched by the beauty of Latin people and their culture. When I was a little girl my grandmother’s next-door neighbor was Ms. Martinez who would sometimes help my grandmother take care of us when needed. She would cook delicious meals for us and expose us to traditional Mexican music. She was a beautiful woman and I will forever be grateful for the positive seeds she planted in my life. As an adult I’ve had the pleasure of knowing a host of people from the Latinx community that have sowed into my life in a beautiful way. We all have the choice to grow from the people, places and things that are brought into our lives, or we can dismiss them and never appreciate the beauty they represent. I choose to accept and grow from those in my life.
I know when you start to mention names you always run the risk of leaving someone out. If I accidentally miss someone, please charge it to my head and not my heart. Teresa Samaniego, Juanita Palacios-Sims, Larry Ortega, Grace Sanchez, Dr. Michael Flores, Ana Valdez and Aurea Montes-Rodriquez to name a few. This is an open letter of thanks for all you’ve done to help me be a better person. Thank you for all you do for the community and for all the contributions you make to society. Over the years you’ve helped me grow and have taught me things in your respective ways that have helped me be a better person. #Gratitude
Barbara Gonzalez, Associate Culture Editor at Cassius said, “My multicultural sorority taught me how to find my voice and be comfortable using it. I needed to be just as forward and direct as the women around me if I wanted my opinions and ideas to be heard.” Her words rung near and dear to me as a multicultural woman. We all must be comfortable using our voices and learn how to not only come together, but to work together to make our world a better place. It’s up to all of us to unite and put things in place to make our world a better place for generations to come. Again I say, Happy Hispanic Heritage Month!
Sí se Puede!
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