In my 70-plus years on this planet (Gracias a Dios), I have witnessed many Hispanic Heritage celebrations. In fact, for many like me, we knew it as El Decie de Septiembre (16th of September), which most of us know as Mexican Independence Day.

Then, in 1968, former president and fellow Texan Lydon Johnson officially started the observance as Hispanic Heritage Week. In 1988, Ronald Reagan, another former president from a state with a large Raza population, expanded to a whole 30-day period. So, depending on which one you chose as official, we are 35- or 55-years in.

There are parades, Mexican music, Ballet Folklorico, and Mariachis Y Mas. For a month every year, communities large and small celebrate Hispanic Heritage. Some even recognize the contributions the Hispanic community has made in their cities and all over the U.S.

It made me wonder how our Raza felt about celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month. I have my thoughts on this, but I asked a few folks what they thought. The following is a sampling of their responses.

Joe felt that we do not recognize the Mexican culture as much as we should, the pyramids and the knowledge of the stars, just to mention a few. I would add math skills. The Mayans introduced the concept of 0. They transformed the music into Tejano music, which has roots in Europe, with Opa music and the accordion. In addition, it has a sprinkling of Jazz, Blues, and Rock n Roll. All of which blended into the American Music scene. The rich symbolism of the eagle carrying the serpent and landing on a cactus. Which told the Aztecs where to build Tenochtitlan, present-day Mexico City.

Joe highlighted the significance of Our Lady of Guadalupe’s appearance to Juan Diego in converting millions of locals to Catholic Christianity. Our culture strengthened and expanded the Catholic Church, which brought Christianity to the Americas. He said Mexico is the land of kings and Hispanic Heritage Month, and our culture is not just about enchiladas, chips, and hot sauce. And he is correct, but just like Mexican food adds flavor to our lives, so do our people.

(Edited) Uriel said we must educate the community to show that we can all celebrate diversity and not fear it. We must all learn to appreciate our cultural differences and recognize the unique traditions of all holidays. Uriel went on to say that as an educator with a student body that is 70% minority and or low income, it is important to make sure that the population is included and feels recognized. He went on to say that his students studied Spanish-speaking countries as a class project. The students created a tri-fold for a gallery walk, including Ofrendos for Dia de los Muertos. This will allow for a real learning experience and, hopefully, an appreciation of other cultures. Not only for the students but also the parents and siblings. In closing, Uriel said ‘” It’s hard to hate a culture or someone you know something about.”

Anya added it is essential to continue Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month. This time allows us to celebrate our culture and educate and inform others who may not be familiar with the Hispanic culture. We can show pride for our blood our roots and be truly happy for who we are and where we or our ancestors came from. It allows our community to connect and express pride in our culture, especially for those disconnected at a young age for any reason.

Thanks to all who contributed to this article. (Some comments may have been edited for space.)

(Special thanks to Uriel and his students for not fearing to learn about what some label as ‘The other’)

We at Hola Texas have made it our mission to keep our history alive and celebrate our heroes. After all, as someone said, “Just like a tree cannot grow without roots, so it is with people as well.”

By A. Govea (Comments for this article or others are always welcome; contact me at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Skip to content