Hispanic Heritage Month is an annual celebration starting on September 15 to October 15. Unlike other heritage months, Hispanic Heritage Month begins in the middle instead of the end, because the 15 marks the independence day of five Latin America countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Mexico, Chile, and Belize follow shortly after, on the 16th, 18th, and 21st.
Hispanic Heritage Month "pays tribute to the generations of Hispanic Americans who have positively influenced and enriched our nation and society," according to their website.
Over the course of this past year, we have celebrated our staff throughout the national heritage months and we are concluding the series with Hispanic Heritage Month. Some of our staff have shared their story and what Hispanic Heritage Month means to them:
Manuel Morales, a Spanish teacher, says Hispanic Heritage Month is important to him because "it is a time for the world to see the beauty of the culture that I am a part of. All the colors, the celebrations, and the food." Morales says his heritage is Mexican and both of his parents are from Durango, Mexico.
“'Education is something no one can take away from you',” has always been our family’s motto, despite the limited opportunities available to my parents," shares Martina Iniguez, elementary counselor. Iniguez came to North America as a young girl with her parents from Mexico. She spent her summers in the cherry orchards with her family while her parents learned to read and write through their local Catholic Church. "Thanks to my parent’s encouragement and emphasis on education, all ten of my siblings and I have attained college and graduate degrees," Inguiez says. "I graduated from Eastern Washington University with a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration and International Affairs, and from Heritage University with a Master’s degree in Guidance and Counseling. I now have the privilege of working at Chief Leschi Schools as an Elementary Guidance Counselor, where my goal is to pass on my family’s love of learning to the students here, in order to help them further develop the tools to realize their potential and fulfill their dreams."
James Lee, an elementary teacher, is the son of a Norwegian father and a Mexican mother. "I tend to follow my mother's heritage more than my father's," Lee shares. "I grew up going to the Fiestas at the San Gabriel Mission and dancing traditional dances." Lee's mom was born in El Paso, Texas, his grandma in Durango, Mexico, and his grandpa in Juarez.
Follow along with us on social media as we highlight our staff!