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Periodico De Hoy: Hispanic Heritage Month

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Andrea Arango Arroyave, Hispanic Heritage Special Observance Committee

HILL AIR FORCE BASE – Every year, American observes National Hispanic Heritage Month from Sept. 15- Oct. 15, celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.

National Hispanic Heritage Month began in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson. President Ronald Reagan lengthened the observance to cover a 30-day period and was enacted into law on Aug. 17, 1988.

Many wonder why National Hispanic Heritage Month is split between two months. There are significant victories observed within the months of September and October for the Hispanic/Latinx communities.

Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua celebrate their independence on Sept.15, Mexico on Sept. 16 and Chile on Sept. 18. Columbus Day or Día de la Raza is celebrated on October 12.

Difference between Hispanics and Latinos:
In short, all Hispanics are Latinos but not all Latinos are Hispanic.

The terms Hispanic and Latino refer to ethnicity, culture, and identity. They are groups based on shared culture rather than skin color, race, or other physical features.

Hispanic refers to people who speak Spanish or who have a background in a Spanish-speaking country. In other words, Hispanic refers to the language that a person speaks or that their ancestors spoke. Some Hispanic people speak Spanish, but others do not.

In contrast, Latino refers to geography, specifically people from Latin America including Central America, South America, and the Caribbean. Like being Hispanic, Latino speaks nothing about your race. Latinos may be White, Black, Indigenous, Asian, etc.

A person who is Latino may or may not be Hispanic. For instance, while people from Brazil are considered Latino, because Brazil is a Latin American country, they are not considered Hispanic because Brazil is a former Portuguese colony, not a Spanish one.

People who are Black and Latino often identify as Afro-Latino, while other Black people of Latin American descent forego the Latino or Hispanic label altogether.

Latinx Movement:
Latinx is not a common practice as only 3% of Latinos use it. The rise of the term has created debate about its suitability in a gendered language, such as Spanish.

Some criticizers claim word originates from U.S. English speakers and ignores the Spanish language and its gendered form.

It has been a universal undertaking to introduce gender-neutral nouns and pronouns into various languages whose grammar have customarily used male or female constructions.

Heritage Month events:
Top of Utah Museum week STEM demonstration is from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sept. 17 at Hill’s Aerospace Museum.

Unidos: Latin Food Truck Event is from 11 a.m.- 1 p.m. Oct. 13 at the Exchange parking lot.