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Student Voices: NMH Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

Student Voices: NMH Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

By Sarah Olson '26

Hispanic Heritage Month at NMH is about educating those in the community about Hispanic and Latinx heritage. “We carry the month with us because we may look different, we may speak differently, and our foods will be different,” said Marvin Garcia, NMH’s director of financial aid, “so we try to bring that up, even in a predominantly not Hispanic or Latina(o) community.”

student Taylana sitting outside on a blue Adirondack chair

Hispanic Heritage Month was introduced to honor the independence of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua from Spain on Sept. 15, 1821. Mexico, Chile, and Belize also celebrate their Independence Day in September, which is why Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 is known as Hispanic Heritage Month.

To Taylana Pabon, a Northfield Mount Hermon senior, Hispanic Heritage Month is about “giving recognition to the Hispanics and Latinos that help pave the way for the youth today.”

She said when there’s not a lot of representation of Hispanics, it feels isolating, so a month about Hispanic and Latinx heritage is worth celebrating.

portrait of Dennis sitting next to a tree

To some students, the month is also about sharing part of their identity and culture with others. Dennis Penny Lopez, an NMH senior, said, “It's like a celebration of culture and identity.” He celebrates the month by connecting with other students of similar backgrounds and spreading the word so others can also enjoy the month. 

Another NMH senior, Karla Lazaro, agrees with Dennis, saying the month is about “sharing it with those close to me and teaching other people about it.”

student Karla, in a tie-dye shirt and sunglasses, in front of a brick building

Around campus, there were signs of the celebration. In the library, there was a display of Hispanic and Latinx authors and books. Movies played on the weekends, like “Spanglish”, “In the Heights,” and “McFarland USA.” 

These events might seem small, but Juliana Cruz Martinez, Spanish teacher, dorm head, and Latinx Affinity group co-advisor at NMH, said, “I think that we experience our heritage in different ways; I like to say that we Latinos come in different flavors and in the movies they are seeing that. This month is about educating the communities we are in, where we are a minority, about all the contributions that the Latinx community has given and continues to give to this country.

Photos: Taylana Pabon (top), Dennis Penny Lopez (middle), Karla Lazaro (bottom). 

Sarah Olson, a sophomore from Ketchum, Idaho, is a workjob student in the NMH communications and marketing office.

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