How to Feel Proud of Your Hispanic Heritage Even After This Month

As we near October 15th, the end of Hispanic Heritage Month, I and many others continue to celebrate our Hispanic heritage. With pride and glory, we wave our flags in the air. Streams of blues, whites and neighbors of yellow, blue and red cloud our eyes as we look up to the future and dance through the past. Parades march through the streets accompanied by the sounds of merengue, salsa and reggaeton. Hispanics residing in all countries, of all colors, saca tu banderas! Unfortunately for some, being Hispanic right now may seem like the opposite of celebration, and many forget about that pride for the rest of the year. Because of this feeling, it is important to understand who we are and embrace our Hispanic heritage. Here are some ways to help you stand tall and be proud of your culture beyond the month:

Educate

Be aware of how many others have roots like yours and have broken barriers in society, paving the way for the future. Remember names such as athlete Roberto Clemente, astronaut Ellen Ochoa, award winning Director Alfonso Cuarón, judge Sonia Sotomayor, Olympic gold medalist Laurie Hernandez and Hamilton creator Lin Manuel Miranda; the list goes on and on. These people who came from the same region you do, despite the obstacles, are reaching heights no one thought they could reach. This is everything to be proud of. Understand the many things that you, as a Hispanic individual, are capable of. Whether it’s being bilingual or having curly hair, it is important to realize that these aspects are beautiful, unique, important and powerful.

Congregate

Find and join together with other Hispanics you meet and form long-lasting friendships. Whether it be a school club, living in a city with a large Hispanic population or just being with family, there is nothing more comforting than forming a community of people who you can relate to. Once you find people who speak like you and look similar to you, you automatically have a common bond and suddenly aren’t so alone. Share the things you like, learn about each other, speak Spanish to each other, and help those who don’t speak Spanish very well. Take a trip to local Hispanic art exhibits and share your different foods with each other, from Honduran baleadas all the way to Domincan mangú, every Hispanic culture has something amazing to offer. Create a melting pot in your own community and you will find yourself part of a proud family that stretches longer than just the month.

Celebrate

This month is here for a reason: to constantly remind you of the importance and beauty of Hispanic Heritage—but that does not mean you should stop celebrating after it ends. Incorporate everything you have learned through your life and be grateful for your history, your skin, your culture. Dance to the music, feel the rhythm flow through your blood and move your body. Honor your culture! Listen to the childhood stories told by your Tias and Tios. Grab your Abuela by the hand as she bakes the pan dulce and dance to their music; your music. There is no doubt that once you start to embrace your culture, love it and celebrate it, you will stand tall and proud forever. Hispanic heritage hasta la muerte!

Images: 1,2,3