Books On A Shelf

Celebrating Hispanic/Latino(a)s

Before I get into the article let me explain the difference between Hispanic and Latino. Hispanic is a country that speaks Spanish. Latino means you are from a country in Latin American (South America). These 2 terms can be used interchangeably because you can be both Hispanic and Latino. Puerto Ricans and Dominicans are considered both due to us speaking Spanish and it being our official language. Brazilians are considered Latino(a) because the country is in Latin America, but they aren’t considered Hispanic because they don’t speak Spanish and aren't their official language. Spain is a Hispanic country but it isn’t considered a Latin country.

  1. 1. Chief Justice Sonia Sotomayor

    The first notable Hispanic/Latina is Chief Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Now this wonderful woman hits home for me, she is a Puerto Rican woman from New York City ( I am a Puerto Rican woman also from New York City). She is the first Hispanic/Latina woman to become a Supreme Court justice in the United States. Born on June 25, 1954, in the South Bronx her parents immigrated from Puerto Rico to New York City, like most Puerto Ricans during that time. Nominated by President Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States, and confirmed in August of 2009. Sotomayor was there for 2 major landmark rulings such as King v Burwell, to uphold a component of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, and Obergefell v. Hodges, legalizing same-sex marriages in all 50 states, this woman helped most of and continues to do so.

  2. 2. Octaviano Larrazolo

    The next notable Hispanic is Octaviano Larrazolo. Larrazolo was born on December 7, 1859, in Chihuahua, Mexico who immigrated to the United States. Larrazolo was the first Mexican-American and Latino Senator in the United States. He would fight for Mexican-American rights. While he was only in office for 3 months it opened the door for other Hispanics and Latinos to run for office.

  3. 3. Sylvia Rivera

    This beautiful powerhouse is Sylvia Rivera, a drag queen and transgender woman took the LBTQ+ community rights to new heights. Rivera is Venezuelan and Puerto Rican born July 2, 1951, but unfortunately, her father left her mother and her then her mom committed suicide. By the age of 10, she left home and became a sex worker. During her time she would meet homeless transgender kids this will soon lead her to give herself the name “Sylvia Rivera.” This woman was the original people at the Stonewall riots and she threw the second Molotov cocktail. She fought hard for gay rights in all communities such as the middle class and the Puerto Rican community.

  4. 4. Policarpa Salavarrieta

    I’ve listed people who have made an impact on the government and who have changed the government, but what about overthrowing the government? This beautiful woman helped in Colombia’s independence from Spain. Policarpa Salavarrieta nicknamed “La Pola.” Born February 22, 1795, was a spy for the rebels trying to overthrow the Spanish. Salavarrieta worked as a seamstress in the homes of Spanish royalists, and when she found political information she passed it down to the people in charge of the independence movement. She is credited to have help with Colombian independence.

  5. 5. Saint Teresa de Los Andes

    Okay, I have given people working for the government, people who helped change the government and overthrow it. Government is a big issue in today’s world, but there is another topic that is an issue still being fought over religion. This next Latina woman is Saint Teresa de Los Andes. Born July 13, 1900, Santiago, Chile. She is the first Chilean to be declared a Saint, one way she is remembered is by having a shrine is Los Andes.