Soapbox: Hispanic Heritage Month

It is Hispanic Heritage Month! I’m always excited for this time of year, the community / cultural events and the ability to share and introduce my culture to others, but during this time I am also reminded that culture, identity, and pride lasts longer than a month. I am Mexican-American 365 days out of the year ❤

MOST Hispanics I know do not celebrate or recognize Hispanic Heritage Month. Most Mexicans I know do not celebrate or recognize Mexican Independence Day. Most, however,  DO celebrate Cinco de Mayo… often without fully understanding what the holiday is.

I invite Latinos, Hispanics, Mexican-Americans, and _______-Americans (however your identify yourself) to take Hispanic Heritage Month as an opportunity to understand your culture’s history, traditions, and contributions and celebrate with a true understanding and pride.

It is nice to recognize, celebrate, and share our contributions and culture with others during this month (Hispanic Heritage Month runs Sept. 15-Oct. 15), but let’s not forget to recognize, celebrate, and share it year round. We deserve it, from others… but most importantly, from ourselves.

Why? Because we’re awesome and we matter…

• 1 in 6 Americans are Hispanic.
• 23 million U.S. workers are Hispanic.
• U.S. Hispanic-owned businesses increased by 43.7 percent to 2.3 million between 2002-2007. The national growth rate for all new businesses founded was 18 percent during the same period.
• 40 percent of new U.S. households within the next decade will be Hispanic.
• Hispanic purchasing power is expected to grow from $1.2 trillion in 2012 to $1.5 trillion in 2015.

(Statistics: http://bit.ly/1dj98pb)

Every morning I wake up, I celebrate Hispanic Heritage Day… I invite you to do the same. Let this month be the beginning of your personal celebration.

PBS debuts part one of a six-hour documentary American Latino history on Wednesday, September 17th: 

Learn, love, and live with pride. 

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