ETHS, Evanston prep for Latino Heritage Month

Mac Stone, News Editor

From Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, Latino Heritage Month is recognized to celebrate Latino history and culture.

“It’s about embracing students from all different backgrounds,” Heritage Spanish teacher Gabriela Perez said. “I think when people think of Latino Heritage Month, they think of Dia dos Muertos (Day of The Dead) and they think of Mexican music. It’s not Mexican Heritage Month. It’s Latino Heritage Month.”

The national theme for 2018 is “Hispanics: One Endless Voice to Enhance our Traditions,” according to The National Council of Hispanic Employment Program Managers.

“[Heritage Month] is about celebrating who we are and not having to worry about being stereotyped or viewed as lesser than,” sophomore Camila Renteria said. “It allows us to express who we are, and to explore each other and embrace the culture we all share.”

While Latino Heritage Month takes place from mid-September to mid-October, ETHS is planning events to align with Dia dos Muertos, running from Oct. 31-Nov. 2.

“Every year, we’ve done something different than what we’ve done in the past, so we are going to do something the last week of October,” Student Services Department Chair Aracely Canchola said.

Canchola further explained that planning celebrations for the local LatinX community is challenging.

“We definitely need to do more [to celebrate],” Canchola said. “The dilemma that falls on different organizations is that one often expects [the planning] to fall on the person that fits that identity. It shouldn’t just be that. It should be a collective group who plans.”

Earlier this month, Mayor Steve Hagerty named Aug. 30 Hispanic Heritage Day during the annual “Jalisco en Evanston” event at ETHS to launch Latino Heritage Month celebrations in the ETHS and Evanston LatinX community.