September 15th kicked off National Hispanic Heritage Month. You may be wondering at our country’s need to devote an entire month to celebrating an ethnic minority. The Census fact is that 17 percent of our nation’s total population consists of 53 million Latino Americans. Latino Americans make up the largest ethnic minority in the United States. A single day would hardly be long enough to celebrate the accomplishments of and contributions by Latinos to our American way of life. September was chosen because across North and Latin America, countries celebrate their independence from Spanish colonial rule. The 15th marked the anniversary of independence for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. September 16th celebrated Mexico’s, September 18th, Chile’s, and September 21, Belize’s. Cuba will celebrate on October 10th.
Over the next few weeks, So to Speak will feature interviews and posts by writers and activists in the Latino community, beginning with a two-part interview with novelist and women’s studies professor Elizabeth Huergo.