Every year we celebrate what is called “Hispanic Heritage Month.” Hispanic Heritage Month is supposed to encompass all the Latin American countries. But does it really?

By Felix Alvarado



So, I would ask anyone out there, who was Pedro de Alvarado, Simon Bolivar, or Jose de San Martin. Or even Hernan Cortez. What led to the eventual revolt of the colonies against Spain?


We started the magazine with a question, “Quienes Somo?” Probably a better question is “Quien eres tu?” Who are you? Who are we? To understand who we are we must look at demographics. I like to distinguish between Mexican and Tejano. Texas was ruled by Spain for over 300 years. Texas was ruled by Mexico for 10 years. Historically, 10 years is an insignificant time period. Tejanos wanted their independence from Mexico. They joined the Texians in their fight for independence. 



Like many Mexican Americans my genealogy is all over the place. My heritage is Mexican and Tejano. I call myself Mexican American because 2 of my 4 grandparents were born in Mexico. My father’s mother had deep Tejano roots. That gives me Tejano roots. I am proud of my Tejano roots. I am proud of my Mexican roots also. I choose who I am.


Every year I read about our historical beginnings starting with Aztlan. My favorite is “We were here first.”  an insinuation that we were physically present in all Texas before Anglos. I do believe that the Comanche had control of North Texas. They were here first. My DNA is half Native American. I have a lot of European in my blood. The half of me that is not Native American is mostly European. I could be part of any of the Native tribes that roamed Texas. Karankawa, Coushatta, Apache, Comanche, who knows. In Texas given my Native American blood, I can rightfully say I was here first. Given the European blood I can also say I am European or White. Take your pick.


I see a lot of Mexican Folklorico dancing.as part of the celebration of 16 de Septiembre, Mexican Independence Day. Most of the times there are parades and folklore dancing. Why do we call it Hispanic Heritage Month? We are celebrating Mexican culture. 


Every country with Spanish roots has a different culture. We are not homogeneous. Hispanic does not unify these cultures. I cannot identify myself as Hispanic because by doing so I lose my Mexican identity. Something I will not do. I am proud to be of Mexican origin. It is my choice.


When you celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, what are you celebrating? When you classify yourself as Hispanic, do you know who you are? Quien Eres Tu?

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