Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month at Tuscarora

The annual festivities highlight the contributions of Hispanic Americans to the art, culture, and history of the United States.

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month at Tuscarora

By Carlin Lacques

 Hispanic Heritage Month is a celebration which begins September 15th and lasts until October 15th each year. It serves to acknowledge the significance of Hispanic Americans throughout the history of the United States and celebrate numerous independence days for countries with large Hispanic populations. 

Not only is this event celebrated all across the country, but in our own Tuscarora High School numerous commemorations occur throughout the month to celebrate and support Hispanic students.

Such celebration can be witnessed as soon as you walk into the school, with a mural of important Hispanic Americans hanging above the display case on the right of the main hallway. The mural features famous Hispanic American figures such as Frida Kahlo, Cesar Chavez, and many more.

Students taking Spanish at Tuscarora assisted in the creation of the mural. 

A significant way Tuscarora is celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month is by highlighting Hispanic students through the morning announcements. Instead of the regular hosts, two Hispanic students at Tuscarora will read our daily announcements for the week of 9/27-10/1.

Along with physical displays of Hispanic Heritage Month at Tuscarora, and showcasing students, there have been a number of events to kick off the celebration.

On September 23rd and 24th, Ms. Naranjo, a published poet, held a Spanish poetry seminar in the library during lunch blocks.

Coming up this week on Thursday, September 30, Tuscarora School Counseling will host “The Hispanic Conversation: Life After High School,” an event held exclusively in Spanish with the purpose of helping Hispanic students and their families determine what post-secondary path is right for them. For more information, contact school counseling. 

Would it really be a celebration without a little friendly competition? In celebration of the great art created by Hispanic American artists, Tuscarora’s Spanish Department is holding a Visual Arts Contest in which students must “Create a piece of visual art that represents Hispanic Heritage.” Students are also instructed to submit a written museum-style description which explains their chosen art piece, explaining how it represents Hispanic heritage. The Winner will be announced October 15, at the conclusion of Hispanic Heritage Month. For more information, contact Mrs. Paz in L212.

As listed above, there are many staff-led initiatives to commemorate Hispanic Heritage Month, but what about student-led initiatives?

For the first time in the program’s existence, PEER will be participating in a Hispanic Heritage Month campaign.

“In the past we have made posters, but this is the first time PEER has made Hispanic Heritage Month into a campaign,” said Stefanie Portillo (12), a member of PEER. 

This represents a step forward for Tuscarora in terms of student involvement in a cultural celebration. Not only is it helpful in understanding the history of Hispanic Americans, for both Hispanic and non-Hispanic students, but it helps to increase interconnectivity within the school.

Knowing about the culture of the people that you see everyday is important so you can understand them and also connect with them on a more personal level,” Portillo remarked.

PEER is working to increase student engagement in celebrations like this one, and a school-wide campaign for Hispanic Heritage Month helps everyone to better understand one another.

“One of the missions and goals of PEER is to bring people together and to make people feel included. I feel like celebrating Hispanic Heritage does that,” said Portillo.

As previously mentioned, Hispanic Heritage Month lasts until October 15th. Students can still get involved with any of the above activities, or simply pay attention during Advisory, as there will be slides created by PEER with information regarding this celebratory month.