A Nationwide Celebration of Hispanic and Latinx Culture in the U.S.
One of our key priorities at CoolSys is to create a diverse workforce with people from all cultural backgrounds and walks of life. Our differences allow us to tackle challenges from a diverse viewpoint, leading to better solutions and making our organization stronger as a result.
In this issue of CoolTimes, we’re highlighting Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15. That timeframe was chosen because it encompasses several significant events in Hispanic and Latinx history, including independence days for Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and Nicaragua. The theme for the 2022 celebration is Unidos: Inclusivity for a Stronger Nation.
The official recognition of people of Hispanic and Latinx ancestry in the U.S. began as Hispanic Heritage Week in 1968. In 1988, President Ronald Reagan extended the weeklong celebration into a month.
“Latinx” or “Hispanic”?
While you may hear these terms used interchangeably, there is a distinct difference. Hispanic refers to people whose ancestry is in a Spanish-speaking country. Latinx — which is pronounced laa-tuhn-EX — refers to people with ancestry in a Latin American country, whether or not the primary language of the country is Spanish. (Latinx is a gender-neutral term for Latino or Latina.)
For example, Portuguese is the primary language of Brazil, so Brazilians are considered Latinx but not Hispanic. On the other hand, people who live in Spain or whose ancestors are from that country are Hispanic, but they are not Latinx.
Make a Difference
One of the best ways to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month is to make a real difference in the lives of Hispanics and Latinxs in the U.S. Listed below are three organizations you might consider donating to, but there are many other worthy organizations that would welcome your help.
Latinos in Heritage Conservation (LHC). Founded in 2014, this organization works to protect Latinx places, stories and cultural heritage throughout the United States. LHC advocates for inclusive policies and funding to help Latinx communities preserve the places that matter most to them.
National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice. Since 1994, the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice has worked through community building, policy advocacy and storytelling to empower Latina/x communities to advocate for reproductive health, dignity and justice.
Mijente. This organization works towards racial, economic, gender and climate justice. Founded in 2015, Mijente empowers Latinxs to take a seat at the table and advocate for issues they’re passionate about.
Keep the Celebration Going
There is much more to explore regarding Hispanic and Latinx heritage in the U.S. Here are a few ideas to get you started: