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KDL Blog

Celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month

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Sara P.

Hello, friends! If you didn't know, we are now halfway through National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 - October 15). We wanted to celebrate by speaking with KDL Community Engagement Manager, Sara Proano, about what the annual celebration means to her.

(*This Q&A has been translated to Spanish at the end of the post.)

KDL: What does Hispanic Heritage Month mean to the Hispanic community in West Michigan?

Sara: It's a chance to learn and appreciate the cultural richness and historical context of the more than 23 nations that form part of the Hispanic community in the US.

KDL: How do you celebrate your Hispanic heritage?

Sara: Growing up, our family had four passports: Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela and Mexico and my parents adopted a child from Bolivia for a short period of time. So we were always aware about the incredible diversity of Latino America. 'till this day, our family enjoys arepas (both Colombian and Venezuelan style), empanadas, tamales, humitas, ayacas and quimbolitos; which are all wrapped pockets of food from many different regions.

We celebrate the different accents, the variety of fruits and vegetables, the incredible uniqueness of in the music styles and instruments. There are so many similarities and but also staggering differences, but all of it makes us who we are.

Our collective history determines our understanding of the world, our collective identity, our humor. It is fascinating and incredible interesting. I celebrate who we are by tasting, laughing, reading and enjoying all Latino and Hispanic America has to offer and discovering just a little bit more every day

KDL: What is something you wish folks knew about Hispanic Heritage?

Sara: Hispanic is a word created by the U.S around 1978 for census purposes. There are Hispanics of every race, many different languages and a variety of socio-economical situations. Most of Hispanics are Latinos too (meaning that they have ancestors that came from Latin Europe (Spain, Italy, Portugal, Romaine, France, etc.) but there are Hispanics that are native South and Central American and not Latinos. These are the original nations of the American continent.

 

KDL: ¿Qué representa para la comunidad del Oeste de Michigan el Mes de Herencia Hispana? 

Sara: Es una oportunidad de apreciar la riqueza cultural y el contexto histórico de los más de 23 países y muchas más naciones que forman parte de la comunidad Hispana en los Estados Unidos.  

KDL: ¿Como celebra usted el Mes de Herencia Hispana?  

Sara: Nuestra familia tenía cuatro pasaportes cuando yo estaba pequeña: Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela y México y mis padres adoptaron a un niño boliviano por un breve periodo. Así que estábamos siempre al tanto de la increíble diversidad en Latino América. De hecho, aun ahora nuestra familia disfruta de las arepas (tanto al estilo colombiano como venezolano) empanadas, tamales, humitas, hayacas quimbolitos; que son toda raciones de comidas envueltas originarias de diferentes regiones del continente.  Celebramos los distintos acentos, la variedad de frutas verduras, la increíble singularidad en la música y los instrumentos musicales. Existen tantas similitudes y también sorprendentes diferencias, pero es todos esto lo que nos hace quienes somos.  

Nuestra historia compartida determina nuestra compresión del mundo, nuestra identidad colectiva y humor. Es realmente fascinante e increíblemente interesante. Yo celebro quienes somos experimentando, probando, riendo, leyendo y disfrutando todo lo que latino e hispano América tiene que ofrecer y descubriendo un poquito más cada día.   

KDL: ¿Que le gustaría que la gente sepa sobre la herencia hispana?  

Sara: La palabra “hispano” fue creada en los Estados Unidos alrededor del año 1978 para fines del censo. Los hispanos son personas de todas las razas, muchos idiomas diferentes y una variedad de situaciones socio-económicas. La mayoría de los hispanos son latinos también (lo que quiere decir que tienen ancestros inmigrantes de las naciones latino europeas (España, Italia, Portugal, Rumania, Francia, etc.) pero existen hispanos nativos de sur y centro América y que no son latinos. Ellos representan las naciones originales del continente americano.