VANDNEBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --
Many people know that being Hispanic has something to do with speaking Spanish, but is there more to it? National Hispanic Heritage Month occurs each year from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, and we’re here to help you understand what that means.
National Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates the diversity, history and culture of Americans whose ancestors descend from a Spanish speaking country. This includes Spain, Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean. Sept. 15 celebrates the independence for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.
In a traditional way, being Hispanic refers to Spanish speaking people or those who descend from Spanish speaking ancestors. It’s an element of culture that connects millions of people across our country. This month gives Hispanic people the opportunity to connect and share their history and culture with not only each other but also people from different backgrounds.
Some interesting things to consider are that Hispanics descend from Spanish speaking countries, so not all Latinos are Hispanic and the Hispanic population in the US is more than 56 million.
At the Equal Opportunity office we believe in celebrating the diversity our Air Force. Join us this month in celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month.
During an interview, 2nd Lt. Austin Esquivel, a casual Lt. waiting to start training, who is a first generation Mexican-American born in the United States was asked about his heritage.
Q: What does it mean to be Hispanic?
A: To me being Hispanic is celebrating who you are and where you come from and not letting anyone take that from you. Teaching people about the history and sharing of our culture because everyone should be able to experience everyone’s culture!
Q: What do you think is a common misconception of being Hispanic?
A: There’s a large majority of us that do not look Hispanic. We’re called mestizo. It’s a very common error people make, and we struggle to find a middle ground or common place of our multicultural ancestry.
Q: How do you celebrate your Hispanic heritage?
A: I was raised extremely Americanized, so celebrating my Hispanic heritage is discovering the lost traditions and bringing them back to life for me to share.