Author: WMM Contributor, Silvia Cortes
Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated from September 15th to October 15th and there are many ways to honor generations of Hispanics who have positively influenced and enriched our American culture. The month long celebration begins on September 15 because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September 18, respectively.
My parents are from Mexico and have lived in the US since 1976 when I was born and they still plan a special home cooked meal on September 15th, the eve of Mexican Independence day. Our calendar is going to quickly fill up with activities and events during the 30 day celebration such as the South Shore Cinema‘s special series of Spanish-language and Hispanic-interest films in Oak Creek to UWM’s Dia de Los Muertos Ofrenda Workshop and so much more.
I know there is a lot to do, and as a working mom our schedule is already full, but don’t feel overwhelmed because I’ve put together a list of 4 Ideas for you to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month right at home!
IDEA 1: Prepare authentic food. Celebrate taco Tuesday and plan to make tacos for your family on Tuesday of any day of the week! Meal planning can be stressful but if you theme certain days of the week to certain foods then it helps us anticipate and plan ahead. Main ingredients are tortillas, a choice of meat or grilled vegetables, salsa, avocado and it is time to fiesta! Semi home-made tacos can include the shredded chicken from a cooked rotisserie chicken you can purchase at most grocery stores.
IDEA 2: Plan your own Spanish-language and Hispanic interest movie series! My 5 year old can sit in the movie theater with no problems at all but my 2 year old is a different story and is not able to sit through one episode of his favorite show so we mostly watch movies at home. My all time favorite movies that, in no particular order, that I can watch again and again are:
- Instructions Not Included
- Pan’s Labyrinth
- My Family
- Like Water for Chocolate
- Real Women Have Curves
- Maria Full of Grace
IDEA 3: Read novels or books by Hispanic authors! My all time favorite is Colombian Nobel prize winning author Gabriel García Márquez and can read One Hundred Years of Solitude time and time again. Love in the time of Cholera is also high on my list. Right now, I’m reading Corazon by Yesika Salgado and next on my list is I am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sanchez.
IDEA 4: Listen to music by Hispanic artists! There are too many to name but turn the radio on and you might hear Despacito at least once a day (and I am not complaining because it is a great song). Music from Ozomatli is fun but also inspiring. Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony, Juanes, Selena, Shakira, and too many more to name but you can search any music service and can’t help to dance to the Latin tune.
Hopefully, I’ve inspired you to add some activities to your schedule to be part of the celebration. Have a great month!