Hispanic cultural appreciation


MJ Bautista

Students at Xavier made several ofrendas to celebrate their deceased family members and/or idols.

Ashley Rojas, Staff Writer

Hispanic Heritage Month runs from mid-September to mid-October and is widely celebrated. The Xavier Spanish Club celebrated this month during one of its meetings. Students came together to celebrate Hispanic culture.

Alexandra Lopez Jimenez, Spanish teacher and Spanish Club moderator, helped organize the activities for the meeting. They provided pan dulce, or Mexican sweet bread, which is exceedingly popular in Hispanic culture. 

The club members discussed the impacts that many Hispanic people have had in this country, whether they’re immigrants or  Hispanic-Americans. “We definitely wanted to resonate the fact that different Hispanics have done a lot of positives or have had a lot of positive influence, especially lately in politics and with music,” said Lopez Jiminez. 

Lopez Jimenez mentioned that as a Spanish teacher, she had her students work on the ofrendas for the Day of the Dead. There was an ofrenda made to Jenni Rivera and Selena Quintanilla who are two famous singers that have passed. The Day of the Dead is a very important event for the Hispanic Community when they remember those who have passed. With the ofrendas, they can venerate their ancestors as well as any loved ones or celebrities that they admire.

“Hispanic heritage month for me is a day to remember those who have given Hispanics a good reputation and helped to give us a voice in a community that doesn’t recognize everyone,” said sophomore Ashley Torres Chavez. For her, this month is the celebration and appreciation of everything the Hispanic community has achieved in the United States. 

Similarly, sophomore Deissy Torres said, “Hispanic heritage month means that I can celebrate and appreciate my culture.” Torres is proud of her Hispanic culture and has been taught to appreciate her family’s roots. Hispanic heritage month provides a time in which not only she can celebrate, but so can everyone around her.

Lopez Jimenez thinks that this month gives Hispanics “a piece of belonging.” Hispanics that have immigrated or have ancestors that immigrated can feel proud of all the work that they have done for this country or the work that their ancestors have done. 

“It feels very nice to be locally and nationally recognized that you live here, you are appreciated, you’re part of us,” said Lopez Jimenez. Lopez Jimenez says that it gives a feeling of belonging which is something that most people want to feel when they have worked for and live in a country for a long time.

Hispanics have had many achievements in various areas, and there is a growing influence of Hispanic artists in the music industry. Lopez Jimenez said, “I’m so glad it’s a month-long celebration of different achievements from music to literature to culture to food to dance to music.” It shows the impact that Hispanic culture has had in many aspects of  everyday life. 

Lopez Jimenez pointed out that even people that are not in the Hipsanic community are affected by Hispanic culture. For example, a lot of the music that is heard on the radio is in Spanish. A lot of foods that are eaten come from Hispanic culture or are inspired by traditional dishes.

Being able to celebrate this special month at Xavier is important. “It makes me feel appreciated and it makes me happy that Xavier celebrates my culture,” said Torres. Celebrating at Xavier makes her feel heard and included.

Hispanic Heritage month has been celebrated since 1988 and continues to be celebrated worldwide. According to the U.S. Department of Education, the month also celebrates various independence days and holidays related to the Hispanic community.