Happy Hispanic Heritage Month! These past weeks have overflowed with love and appreciation for the rich Hispanic culture during a trying time. This celebration of culture holds a special place in STXi, seeing that our organization and the community it represents is predominantly Hispanic or Latino. Because our community is majority Hispanic, it becomes easy to forget that we are the minority on a larger scale. STXi believes it’s pivotal to remind our community why being Hispanic is something special to be proud of.
Personally, as a Mexican child I found it was an easy and simple process to become insecure about my cultural background. But one thing that watered the seed of confidence inside me was Hispanic representation. Listening to Selena Quintanilla on a broken stereo or watching Jennifer Lopez on a barely functioning TV screen not only made the seed inside me grow into a forest, but motivated me to be a role model for all Hispanic women. It is beyond gratifying to see the biggest artists and actresses look, talk, and be like me. I am proud of Hispanic excellence.
STXi member Diana Villagomez grew up embarrassed about speaking Spanish in front of other people. As time progressed, her family helped her to overcome this insecurity by encouraging her to learn more about the language and urging her to embrace it. Over time, her confidence in the Spanish language flourished as she began translating for monolingual Spanish speakers and therefore aiding others in their struggle with linguistic barriers. Diana is proud of her native tongue.
Ana Rodriguez, STXi Web & Design leader, was raised in a Mexican household in which she fell deeply in love with the traditions of her culture. She admires the way Hispanic people come together, not just to celebrate, but to fight for common interests. "I will always be proud of seeing people get together and fight for what they believe is right, especially as a woman,” Ana said. She believes the unification of her culture is momentous and inspiring. Ana is proud of Hispanic unity.
Jonathan Montemayor, STXi member, shared that although they were not born in Mexico, they continue to be proud of their Hispanic background. One thing they cherish is how the lifestyle “is always colorful, flavorful, and full of joy.” Some customs that build the marvelous Hispanic culture are quinceañeras and barbecues, that of which bring Jonathan’s family together in celebration of their community. Jonathan is proud of their Hispanic upbringing.
Growing up as minorities in a western thinking world, it’s not complicated nor challenging to grow insecure of cultural background. Yet, as Hispanics we possess every right to be proud of our culture and its distinct aspects that will always and forever unite us.
Contemporary times have shown Hispanics that support and love for our people is pivotal. Hispanic Heritage Month is not only about the appreciation of inheritance and culture, but the recognition of all the work we have left to do. Hispanic or not, we must support Hispanic women. We must support Hispanic LGBTQ+ members. We must support Hispanics of all backgrounds. We must support Hispanic immigrants. We must support each other.
STXi urges our Hispanic communities to continue embracing our culture despite this month's celebration coming to an end. Our rich history is irrevocable and because of this, Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated every day of the year. ¡Feliz Mes De La Herencia Hispana!