Each year from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, National Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated. It is during this time that America honors the history, culture and contributions of U.S. Citizens who celebrate their Hispanic heritage.
While many believe that the word Hispanic refers to a race, it is actually an ethnic terms referring to diverse peoples of many different races and origins who share a commonality of the Spanish language. U.S. citizens with Hispanic heritage trace their ancestry not only to Spain, and other European countries and Mexico, but also to the Caribbean and to the Spanish speaking countries of Central and South America.
Hispanics make important contributions to society on a daily basis and make up 16.3 percent of the U.S. population (4.7 percent of Minnesota). On a local level, Hispanics in Willmar and Worthington, make up almost one fourth of those cities’ population and it is predicted that by census figures that by the year 2030, one in every five persons will be of Hispanic heritage.
Make time this month to celebrate Hispanic heritage. Visit your local library and choose a book written by a Hispanic author, watch a movie with a famous Hispanic actor or actress. While Hispanic Heritage month ends Oct. 15, there are many opportunities in our own local communities to learn more about the Hispanic culture through the year.
The SW/WC Service Cooperative offers programming that works on a daily basis to broaden the horizons of other cultures. The West Central Integration Collaborative (WCIC) serves the communities of Atwater, Cosmos and Grove City (ACGC); Bird Island, Olivia, Lake Lillian (BOLD); Danube, Renville and Sacred Heart (RCW); Kerkhoven, Murdock and Sunburg (KMS); Maynard, Clara City, Raymond (MACCRAY); Montevideo; New London-Spicer (NL-S); and Willmar providing multicultural activities and educational opportunities working toward the goal of increased awareness of cultural diversity.
Visit us on the web at www.swsc.org for more information on activities and ways to become involved with multicultural activities in your area.
Sources: National Education Association, Scholastic and West Central Integration Collaborative.