Traditions and Culture are at the Center of Hispanic Heritage Month at CHHS
Hispanic Heritage Month recognizes the achievements, influence, and contributions of Hispanic Americans to the history, culture, and achievements of the United States. President Lyndon B. Johnson first introduced National Hispanic Heritage Week in 1968. And in 1988, Congress passed a law to extend it into a month-long holiday.
Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations commence on September 15th. This date marks the day when five Latin American countries - Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua - gained their independence from Spain in 1821. Mexico, Chile, and Belize also gained their independence from Spain and the United Kingdom on September 16th, 18th, and 21st, respectively.
This year, Adrian Lara Patino wanted to continue a tradition by creating a bulletin board with his ENL cohort to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. Adrian and his peers came up with three ideas and collaborated with their Art Teacher, Mrs. Burger, and Spanish teacher, Mrs. Ballinallosa to gather supplies and create content. The class of eight students worked together to make the board, which features a woman wearing a skirt made of flags from various Hispanic countries. Some students worked on lettering, while others focused on the woman and the skirt. Leire Chacha Bravo, one of their classmates, taught others how to make tissue paper flowers.
Meanwhile, down the hall in Spanish 5, Mrs. Ballinallosa's class presented in-depth reports on a Spanish-speaking country of their choice. Mrs. Ballinallosa explained that she gave the students the option to research either a Hispanic celebrity or a Spanish-speaking country. The students were attracted to the countries for various reasons, ranging from personal connections to sheer curiosity. Mrs. Ballinallosa emphasized that one can appreciate the culture of a country without having to visit it.
Mrs. Ballinallosa shared that one student chose to research Mexico because of his family's connection and his pride in his culture and background. The student was even able to incorporate information from his project on Mexican “Superstitions and Gods” from last year.
Through their research students became experts on the country, exploring the region’s geography, natural resources, tourism, gastronomy, history, important figures, customs, traditions, and even how different socioeconomic groups live.