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Celebrating Our Hispanic Heritage

National Hispanic Heritage Month

National Hispanic Heritage Awareness Month is celebrated September 15 through October 15. It honors the histories, cultures, contributions, and accomplishments of generations of Hispanic and Latino Americans who have positively influenced and enriched our nation and society. 


In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, the National Spanish Honor Society, Spanish Club, and Spanish classes shed light on different Hispanic cultures by hosting a merienda, also known as a light snack. It was showcased for students after a senior connect meeting. “We [the clubs] created tables displaying the different cuisines and cultures of these versatile Hispanic countries,” said Spanish Club Secretary Danica Otten. “I was excited to do this because the Hispanic community makes up a large percentage of our student body and they should be recognized!” 


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“When the decision was made to have a celebration to highlight Hispanic culture, the club members quickly decided that one of the best ways to fully experience a culture is by experiencing the foods associated with it,” Spanish Club President Gage Coker said. “By coupling food with information, students were able to gain a deeper, more personal understanding of Hispanic culture and Hispanic heritage. Everything worked very smoothly because of the eagerness of our classmates to serve and volunteer. Even some family members of students chipped in!”


The senior class had the opportunity to visit information booths to learn more about Mexico, Spain, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Cuba. The Spanish Club members also offered  food samples like the Popusa (El Salvador), Gallo pinto (Costa Rica), chips and salsa (Mexico), and many more. 


Sonia Young, the Spanish Club sponsor and teacher, said “My expectations were that the Hispanic students at our school would be able to demonstrate the pride and knowledge they have about their own cultures and that the non-Hispanic students would gain an understanding and appreciation of how the Hispanic culture impacts our lives everyday even in our small city of Athens. The students did a fabulous job collaborating with each other. The students in our Spanish classes, Spanish Club and National Spanish Honors Society were able to learn about several of our Hispanic students and their heritage. Our success came from being able to share this information with our school and provide an opportunity to read about influential Hispanic-Americans, taste some traditional dishes, and experience the comradery of our school.


Students in Spanish classes also had the opportunity to talk about a Hispanic influencer or famous Hispanic in the US on the morning announcements each day of Hispanic Heritage Month. “Through celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, we are demonstrating the importance of understanding each other’s differences and how our diversity makes our student body exceptional,” Spanish Club sponsor Sonia Young said. 


Closing out Hispanic Heritage Month, we had one of our student leaders reflect on the importance of taking time to celebrate different cultures. “It is important to acknowledge the achievements and contributions of the influential people in the Hispanic community as they have greatly contributed to today’s society. By understanding these significant contributors we can gain knowledge of how they have impacted our daily lives. These people have significantly contributed to our country’s history and have strengthened our society by expanding and diversifying our knowledge of different cultures. I am very grateful to be able to share a part of this incredible community with the students and recognize what a great impact it has,” said  Co-Vice President and senior Ava Rahmatipour.


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Josue Lovos, Reporter

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