The Sentinel

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The Sentinel

The Sentinel

What Hispanic Heritage Month Means for Latinos and You!

Edith Felipe

Hispanic Heritage Month is an annual celebration in the United States that takes place from September 15 to October 15. This important month honors the culture, accomplishments, and influence of Hispanic and Latino Americans in our country, who make up the largest minority in the US. As we are over halfway into this commemoration, it is essential to learn about the history of this month and what it means for Hispanics and Latinos, as well as for you.

In terms of historical context, this celebration was chosen to begin September 15 to recognize the independence of multiple Latin American countries that were once under Spanish rule until 1821. These include Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras–my mother’s home country. It also acknowledges the independence of Mexico on September 16, Chile on September 18, and Belize on September 21. By honoring these independences, it highlights the perseverance and strength of the Hispanic community. 

It is also important to note the difference between Hispanic and Latino/a. Hispanic refers to people that are descendants of a Spanish-speaking country. Examples of this would be Colombia and Spain. Latinos, on the other hand, are people that originate or are ancestrally from Latin America. Therefore, people from Spain are not considered to be part of this. A person can be both Hispanic and Latino, and those included in either come from all different backgrounds and races! 

Hispanic Heritage Month showcases and appreciates the numerous Hispanics and Latinos that contribute heavily to the way we live today. Some you may even know and love yourself! For instance, Latinos have made a significant impact on one of McClancy’s favorite sports–baseball. It has been reported that 30% of the MLB is made up of Hispanics/Latinos. Even Latinos and Hispanics that are not on your TV screen have made incredible contributions to our world today. These could include restaurant and business owners, activists, government officials, and even our own teachers here at McClancy. 

The culture of the Latino community is one that cannot be overlooked or avoided. The variety of music and dances that make up our culture, from salsa to bachata to reggaeton, are played all over the country, including at some of your parties! Some of the biggest artists in the world are Latinos such as Bad Bunny and Shakira. Your favorite food or snacks may have originated in Latin America, such as burritos or Takis chips. And, of course, soccer–or futból–is known to have some of its best players from Latin America, such as Lionel Messi who has just moved to play for Inter Miami!

With a few more weeks of Hispanic Heritage Month to go, it is important that we recognize and celebrate the diversity and impact Hispanics and Latinos have made for our country. Despite us making up almost 20% of the US population, our contributions have still gone overlooked. For the remainder of this month, tell a Hispanic or Latino person you know how much you appreciate them, ask about their culture, learn a new Spanish word or phrase, or participate in one of the many celebrations taking place this month such as art or food festivals! Besides, who could say no to a delicious plate of carne asada?

You can find events and festivals taking place during Hispanic Heritage Month at this link:

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About the Contributors
Sophia Megahed-Villeda, Editor/Reporter
Sophia Megahed-Villeda is a junior at McClancy. She enjoys discussing and learning about current events, which led her to join the school newspaper. In her free time, she enjoys listening to music, debate, reading, crocheting, working out, and hanging out with her friends and family.
Edith Felipe, Columnist/Editor
Edith Felipe is a junior at Msgr. McClancy and this is her second year contributing to the school newspaper. She hopes to encourage creativity throughout the school and that everyone let their inner artists out. In her free time, she enjoys practicing her guitar and hanging out with friends. She is also part of student council, the tyros drama club, and art club.  

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