Happy Hispanic Heritage Month! This diverse celebration brings in a large cross-section of people to celebrate the unique cultures that we call Hispanic Heritage. Over the next thirty days, we acknowledge and celebrate Americans who have lineage across South America, Mexico, Central America, and even Spain.
This celebration spans from September 15th to October 15th in recognition of the contributions and influence of Hispanic Americans to the history, culture, and achievements of people of Hispanic descent in the United States. The dates were chosen to honor and recognize the independence of several Central and South American nations including Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Meanwhile, Chile and Mexico celebrate their independence on the 16th and 18th of the same month.
It brought me such joy to be in community with students who taught us about the various countries that Hispanic Americans call home. It is culturally enriching to learn about the particular differences of each country. What gives me the most joy is understanding how various cultures and customs become woven into the fabric of the United States making us a more robust and complete nation in the process.
While we rightly venerate the likes of Delores Huerta and Cesar Chavez, AFT is fortunate to have a Hispanic labor leader in our federation. AFT Vice President Evelyn DeJesus made history by being the first person of Hispanic heritage to be an officer in AFT. She is just one example of the many Hispanic Americans who have been instrumental in the labor movement. This month, we celebrate the heroes of labor’s past such as Huerta and Chavez, but also our own Eveylyn DeJesus and all of our labor siblings of Hispanic descent.