Student shares why it’s important to remember Hispanic Heritage Month

TROY, Ala. (TROJANVISION) — Over the next few weeks, people with Hispanic and Latino heritage will celebrate their respective independence days during Hispanic Heritage Month.

Hispanic Heritage Month is a time of celebration for Hispanic and Latino Americans.

“Growing up, especially in high school for a lack of a better term, it was always very overlooked,” said student Ricardo Valencia. “As I get older really it means more and more to me because I see that more people care about it and that brings happiness and joy for me.”

Valencia’s parents are Hispanic but he was born in California. His parents made it a point to help Valencia remember his heritage through different cultural acts like Day of the Dead.

Fact: The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period.

“Spanish being my first language,” Valencia explained. “I’m always involved in the culture. My mom makes sure that I participate in it.”

The Valencia family believes that Hispanic Heritage Month is not a celebration of them but of others around them.

“Both my parents being Mexican-born and me being American-born, there’s a little bit of a disconnect there in in the terms of what a Hispanic Heritage Month means to them.”

Valencia believes it’s important for non-Hispanic people to learn about Hispanic culture.

“The second most spoken language is Spanish and I believe the Mexican population and Hispanic in general is growing in the United States.”

Hispanic Heritage Month will last through Sunday, Oct 15.