Students and Staff Celebrate Spanish Heritage Month

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Students and Staff Celebrate Spanish Heritage Month

NLR students had the opportunity to learn about and celebrate Spanish and Latino culture during Spanish Heritage Month.

NLR students had the opportunity to learn about and celebrate Spanish and Latino culture during Spanish Heritage Month.

NLR students had the opportunity to learn about and celebrate Spanish and Latino culture during Spanish Heritage Month.

NLR students had the opportunity to learn about and celebrate Spanish and Latino culture during Spanish Heritage Month.

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Spanish Heritage Month is a national holiday observed from September 15 to October 15 in the United States to celebrate the strong and positive impact that Latino and Hispanic culture has had in our country.

Spanish Heritage Month started off as just a week in 1968 under President Lyndon Johnson. It was later expanded to a month-long celebration in 1988 during the Reagan administration. The dates in between September 15 and October 15 have another significance behind them as well. North Little Rock High School Spanish teacher Alejandro Quezada explains, “We celebrate Spanish Heritage Month in September and October because almost every country in Latin America won its independence in that month.”

NLR students enjoyed the performance.

 

For example, On September 15, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua celebrate their independence. Likewise Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September 18, respectively. 

 Quezada also speaks of the importance of honoring Spanish Heritage Month, especially to new generations of Hispanics and Latinos. “It is important because in some ways, we don’t forget where we came from,” says Quezada. “It is to remind people from other nationalities that we are proud to be Latinos, and we are proud to have come from our country and traditions.” 

The Spanish department has many activities planned for their classes and the school to celebrate this holiday.  Some plan on doing group research projects over Latinos and their contributions, from well-known figures such as Selena and Frida Kahlo, to lesser-known but still important people like Jose Martinez. Also, each Spanish class takes thirty of their students on a field trip to the Art Center in West Little Rock. There, the students witness a performance of the many unique dances of Spanish cultures.

Students researched many different key figures and concepts during Spanish Heritage Month.

With all of the activities, there are important messages teachers want their students to take away from Spanish Heritage Month. NLRHS Spanish teacher Cecila Franco says,  “They need to know about their origins, other countries, and why other people from other countries act the way they do.” 

Likewise, Center of Excellence Spanish teacher Maxwell explains, “I want students to understand that despite the fact that we all may speak a different language and we might come from different places, we all have so much in common.” She adds, “To understand that deep inside we are all the same and we can learn so much from not just the Spanish culture and the Latino culture, but any culture in the United States.”