Since so many Hispanic nations observe their independence days around mid-September, Hispanic Heritage Month begins Wednesday, September 15 and ends on Friday, October 15. It’s a great year to celebrate the growing diversity in our community. Here are some easy ways to participate:
Honor the achievements of Hispanic people
Really look into learning about more than the big names like Roberto Clemente and Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. If you’re obsessed with “Hamilton” you’re on the right track because creator Lin-Manuel Miranda is a proud son of Puerto Rican parents. Take some time to appreciate Hispanic visual artists, musicians, poets, and activists.
Read Hispanic Literature
NoveList K-8 is a Libraries 360 resource that makes specific book lists based on specific interests. Search for “ Latinx Kids’ Lives” for a variety of materials written by and/or about HIspanic characters. With NoveList Plus, search Latinx Fiction for materials meant for older teens and adults.
Learn some Spanish
Your library card gives you free access to Mango Languages. In just a few short exercises you can learn a little conversational Spanish. Or really take advantage of the Mango courses to be a more valuable employee with bi-lingual communication skills.
Read something in Spanish
With the Overdrive/Libby app, library card holders have access to check out digital books in Spanish. Try checking out the identical book in both English and Spanish – how does Huevos verdes con jamón compare to Green Eggs and Ham? Younger readers can use BookFlix Espanol to access digital books.
READ LaPorte County– It is a local educational organization that offers English as a Second Language (ESL) tutoring both in schools and elsewhere in the community. Volunteers can tutor, and anyone can participate in their annual Scrabble Tournament fundraiser.
Support local businesses
LaPorte has a number of businesses owned and operated by people who are Hispanic and/or Latino. Don’t let a possible language or culture barrier keep you from supporting local restaurants or stores.
Brush up on terms
Using the right words to refer to someone’s ethnicity is a wonderful way to show respect, but it is important to be accurate.
Hispanic – Anne is Hispanic; her parents are from Ecuador. She was born and raised in LaPorte. She grew up in a house with native Spanish speakers.
Latino – Daniel is Latino; he was born in Columbia and moved to LaPorte when he was 10. He speaks very little Spanish and prefers the term LatinX because it is gender neutral.
Chicana/Chicano – Ella’s parents moved from Mexico to LaPorte before she was born. Her family speaks Spanish at home, making her Hispanic, but not Latino because she was born in the United States.
Be an ally
Embracing and celebrating cultural diversity makes a huge positive impact on the growth and wellbeing of any community.