Representation for The Hispanic Community


Courtesy of Google

Hispanic Heritage month is a way for some to stay in touch with their heritage.

Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated from September 15th to October 16th in the United States. Many people celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month to recognize the achievements of Hispanic-Americans who have shaped history.

There are many ways to learn about Hispanic heritage and their different cultures such as trying their food, conducting research and interacting with people of said culture. At Lake Ridge, there are 4 Spanish classes that students can take to learn Spanish cultures. Spanish Teacher, Ivann Want elaborates on how she incorporates Hispanic History into her lessons.  

“As a Spanish teacher we do talk about Hispanic culture in class, and we do talk about Hispanic Heritage Month. Throughout the month, we do a little lesson and teach more about different countries and the culture of those countries,” said Want.

Spanish teacher, Melissa Mohler says that going out and discovering different parts of culture is a way to expand on one’s understanding of diversity.

“Putting yourself in a situation where you’re learning or practicing a language of Spanish can be impactful. If you go to certain parts of Texas, like Arlington, you can find good taco spots, or other types of cultural street food. So it’s just putting yourself in the situation to learn more and not just staying in your own bubble,” said Mohler.

Many schools decorate the hallways and put up posters during Hispanic Heritage Month to represent and celebrate different cultures. However, some students have noticed Lake ridge has not been celebrating the Hispanic community. Junior, Gavin Garcia explains why he believes the school has little representation for Hispanic Heritage Month.

“I don’t think people know that it’s Hispanic Heritage month unless they are told. I don’t think there is representation from the school. Like classes don’t go out of their way to talk about Hispanic figures and history,” said Garcia. 

The Hispanic community accounts for 12% of people in the TV and Media industry. As a fast growing community in the U.S, media coverage of Hispanic people has increased from 16% to 18% between 2014 and 2019. Movies such as Coco, Encanto, West side story and In the Heights have reached over 90% in rotten tomatoes. Although growing, media representation of the Hispanic community can be very stereotypical. Sophomore, Lindsay Santos expresses her concern regarding Hispanic representation.

“I do think sometimes that movies representing Hispanic culture and people are very negative. For example a lot of people only see a brown skin person working in the fields or construction. Even though it is sometimes true, the representation can be very stereotypical. It puts things out of context and makes us as a community look bad,” said Santos.

People like Cesar Chaves and Dolores Huerta, are American Civil Rights activists for agricultural workers. Robert Clemente is the first Latin American and Caribbean player to win the World Series as a starting player. Ellen Ochoa was the first Hispanic American woman to go to space in 1993. They can be seen as individuals who have paved the way for the Hispanic community in America. Freshman, Roman Garcia says that it is critical that the Hispanic community is recognized for their accomplishments and for what they have contributed to America.

“I think Hispanic Heritage Month is important because people need to recognize all the things Hispanics do for this county. Without Hispanics there wouldn’t be a lot of construction, because Hispanic people are very hard workers,” said Garcia.

Want accentuates the impact Hispanic culture and people have had on America.

“There have been many contributions into the U.S from Hispanics even in today’s society. For example, you have Sonia Sotomayor. We try to incorporate and talk a lot about not only people from the Hispanic counties, but people in the U.S of Hispanic descent who have contributed one way or another,” says Want.