Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month

By MVA seniors, Kalena Iwashita and Felipe Valente De Moraes
Hispanic Heritage month (Sept. 15-Oct 15) is a month full of stories and connections that inspire upcoming generations from all kinds of different flag colors and symbols that carry the energy of the grand “La Fiesta”.
Hispanic Heritage week was established in 1968 by President Lyndon Johnson as a week-long celebration, which was then expanded by President Ronald Reagan to recognize and show gratitude to the contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans to the United States’ heritage and culture.
The importance of this month is remarkable. It corresponds with the happiness and perseverance of Hispanic countries such as Mexico, Andorra, Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Gibraltar, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Spain (of course), Uruguay, and Venezuela! Six countries have celebrate their independence festivals during this month.
Thousand-year-old cultures are honored in the forms of dances, parties and award ceremonies during these 30 days. On September 22, the National Museum of the American Indian has dance performances honoring the magnificent cat whose imagery is often found in Native artistic traditions from Mexico to the Amazon. The jaguar dances of Bolivia, Mexico and Guatemala are also appreciated. You can even explore mask making, as well as traditional and contemporary ceramics.
In Washington, D.C., kids are the focus of family day at the National Zoo through passionate live music and educational activities focusing on conservation in Central and South America. Animal keepers provide presentations, feedings, and demonstrations featuring Andean bears, sloths, golden lion tamarins, and Panamanian golden frogs.
Hispanic Heritage Month is features award-winning authors such as Ibi Zoboi, author of “American Street,” Duncan Tonatiuh, author and illustrator of “Danza!,” and Amalia Hernández author of “El Ballet Folklórico de México,” for which she received the Américas Award. Works of fiction, poetry, folklore, or selected non-fiction that authentically portrays Latin America, the Caribbean, or Latinos in the United States are celebrated.
If you like to meet new people, passionate musicians, local artists and dancers Hispanic countries from all over the world celebrate “nuestra ciudad,” our city in Spanish. It truly is an amazing month celebrating a culture that touches all of our lives. You don’t have to look too hard experience the culture – during this month or year round.