Back in 1968, Representative Edward R Roybal a Democrat from Los Angeles, established legislation to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Week in the USA, which was passed by President Lyndon B. Johnson. It wasn’t until 1988 under President Ronal Regan that is was expanded to a month, with the passing of Public Law 100-402. Since then the month between September 15th through October 15th had been proclaimed Hispanic Heritage Month in order to celebrate the contributions of US Citizens of Latin American descent. Many local, national and multinational corporations sponsor lunch and learns, diversity presentations and cultural events during this time to showcase the art, values and traditions of the Spanish and Portuguese speaking Americas; from Mexico to Tierra del Fuego. The Latin American communities unite to host numerous heritage festivals to promote and celebrate their vast historical and social patrimony.
Under the climate of the 2016 election, where racism is rearing its ugly head, Hispanic Heritage Month is not only a necessity but an opportunity to debunk the myths about immigration and the perceived damage it makes to the government’s coffers. For over five decades the folks that cross the border, legally and illegally from all over the Americas, do so looking for a better life, working hard to earn a living and provide for their families. Soon, the number of Latin Americans in the USA will reach record numbers to the point it will eventually become a bigger ethnic group than whites! This is why in this day and age it is imperative that as a nation we become educated about the benefits of the melting pot and to the opportunities that are created by hosting and enabling immigrants to become entrepreneurs.
As part of this ethnic group, I can’t stress enough that the contributions of Hispanics have been great and beneficial for the USA economy. Just read the article Immigrants are American Character and you will begin to understand the impact of having bilingual, intelligent and kind people move into our midst to expand and lead progress. From engineers to apple pickers, we all have a role to play in today’s modern world and our efforts pay off dividends. The people are the reason we can claim to be one of the best countries in the world, and the human capital that will make it even better.
Join in on the fun and take the time to learn about your fellow Americans. Together we are stronger and wiser, more prepared to move this nation into the 21rst century and beyond. Go to a salsa dancing contest, try hispanic cuisine or enjoy a nice film in Spanish with subtitles. There is a chance there’s a little hispanic heritage in you. Embrace the possibilities!