September 15 marks the first day of Hispanic Heritage Month. The idea for Hispanic Heritage Month, celebrated throughout the latter half of September and the first half of October, began as a way to promote the history, culture, and contributions of Hispanic-Americans — specifically, those whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. Communities mark the achievements of Hispanic and Latino Americans with festivals and educational activities. September 15 is set as the starting date for the month as it is important for many reasons. It is the independence anniversary for Latin American countries El Salvador, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Honduras. From here onwards, the independence days of Mexico and Chile fall on September 16 and September 18, respectively. Dia de la Raza or Columbus Day also falls within this month, on October 12.
Students in Señor Smith and Señora Springer’s Spanish classes have a number of ways they will be participating in the month’s celebrations. Throughout each week, a student will begin or end the day with a prayer in Spanish over the PA. Then each Wednesday, details about an influential Hispanic woman will be shared in addition to the prayer, to which the Spanish classes will learn more about her throughout the following week. Señora Springer’s Spanish classes were able to participate in performing the revolutionary call and response (“Grito”) performed in many Mexican and Mexican-American communities typically on Sept. 17 to honor the heroes of the battles for independence from Spain. They studied the history and meaning behind the call and performed it next to our Peace Pole for some fellow classmates.
As part of our Global Education efforts, our students engage in opportunities to learn more about the different cultures in our society, how to ethically, critically, and empathetically explore the world, and better understand one another. These efforts are innately connected to the international mission of the Ursuline Sisters. In our own mission and graduate profile, we challenge our students to be committed to faith-based living and leadership in a global community and learn how best to be a global citizens.