National Hispanic Heritage month is annually celebrated in the United States from September 15th to October 15th. It is during this time we recognize the influence and contributions of Hispanic Americans in culture, history, and achievements for the United States.
Hispanic culture is known for close ties with families, as well as rich culinary, musical, religious, and holiday traditions that are passed down among families. There are many traditions I have begun passing down to my kiddo and many that I love teaching and sharing with my friends and coworkers.
Hispanic is defined as a Spanish-speaking person living in the US and although I am not fluent in Spanish, Spanish was my mother’s first language and Spanish was often spoken in our household growing up. I have so many wonderful memories celebrating Hispanic traditions, including attending many quinceañeras (which is a Catholic Latin American celebration where teenagers celebrate their 15th birthday), hitting piñatas at my cousin’s birthday parties, and enjoying mariachi music at every family gathering.
However, one of my favorite Hispanic traditions is Fiesta. Fiesta is a 10-day festival in my hometown, San Antonio, honoring those who had died during the battle of the Alamo and to commemorate the victory at the Battle of San Jacinto. More than 2.5 million people attend Fiesta San Antonio every year wearing flower crowns and cracking cascarónies (confetti eggs) on each other’s heads.
San Antonio is the largest Hispanic city in the United States with 64% of its population being Hispanic. As I’ve gotten older and lived in different cities in Texas, I often find myself being one of the few or only Hispanics in my class, neighborhood, or job. Something small like hearing my last name pronounced correctly or being referred to as “mija” from a stranger are things I now realize I took for granted living in San Antonio.
Hispanics have contributed greatly to society advancing the world through the decades. Just to name a few, Ángela Ruiz Robles created the e-book, Guillermo González Camarena created the color television, Claudio Castillón Lévano created the neonatal artificial bubble used in hospitals, and Victor Ochoa created electric brakes. It’s hard to imagine what life would be like without these creations and innovators. Yet historically, Hispanic people in the U.S. have faced racial, ethnic, and anti-immigrant prejudice, including discrimination in employment, housing, and education.
BrkThru has always been so inclusive and welcoming of different cultures and beliefs. Employee or client, BrkThru values every person and their unique story they bring with them. This Hispanic Heritage month, I challenge you to make a special dish from scratch with your family or learn how to dance cumbia with friends – I promise you you won’t regret the experience!