Looking Back at National Hispanic Heritage Month

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Looking Back at National Hispanic Heritage Month

OH Spanish teacher Ms. Adriana Carbone in front of her classroom bulletin board which celebrates her Columbian heritage.

OH Spanish teacher Ms. Adriana Carbone in front of her classroom bulletin board which celebrates her Columbian heritage.

OH Spanish teacher Ms. Adriana Carbone in front of her classroom bulletin board which celebrates her Columbian heritage.

OH Spanish teacher Ms. Adriana Carbone in front of her classroom bulletin board which celebrates her Columbian heritage.

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National Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 through Oct. 15) is a time when Hispanics from across the country celebrate and recognize the important presence and endowments of Hispanics and Latino Americans to the United States.

There are 4.3 million Hispanics living in Florida, and approximately one-third of the Olympic Heights student population is Hispanic. There are also several Hispanic faculty and staff members at OH.

Looking back on the importance of National Hispanic Heritage Month, The Torch sat down with OH Spanish teacher Ms. Adriana Carbone, who was born in Bogota, Colombia, and junior Elizabeth Renteria-Gomez, who is of Mexican descent,

to discuss the significance of National Hispanic Heritage Month.

 TORCH: Why is National Hispanic Heritage Month important?

Carbone: It’s important because it recognizes the various cultures of Hispanic countries. There is a big misconception that all Spanish speaking countries are the same. We all eat, speak, and celebrate differently [laughs]. We don’t all eat rice and beans!

TORCH: Do you share your culture with your students?

Carbone: Yes, I do! I believe it’s important to share my Colombian culture and customs so they can then share with their friends and future families. For example, when we go to Colombia we eat typical foods like arepas and sancocho. We celebrate holidays as Colombians do which is eat, drink, and be merry!

TORCH: Do you think it’s important for your students to speak Spanish?

Carbone: Absolutely! I try my best to speak to them in Spanish as much as possible. Being able to speak Spanish and English will open many doors for their future careers.

OH junior Elizabeth Renteria-Gomez

TORCH: Why is National Hispanic Heritage Month important to you?

Renteria-Gomez: It’s a time for people like me, whose parents came into America from another country, to understand their story as to why they came here. It lets me reflect on where my parents were raised and the culture of that country. In this case, for me, I reflect on Mexico and it’s an amazing feeling knowing your family’s background.

TORCH: Do you try and share your culture with you friends?

Renteria-Gomez: Absolutely! I always mention the difference in foods I eat, the history, and the holidays we celebrate to my friends. Mexico isn’t just about Cinco de Mayo. That’s why I always tell them there’s more to it. As a matter of fact, I love to know all of my friends’ cultures! It expands my knowledge on the world.

TORCH: Do you think it’s important for Americans to recognize Hispanic Heritage Month?

Renteria-Gomez: Yes, it’s important for Americans to recognize Hispanic Heritage Month. For instance, the majority of Hispanics that are here came illegally and left their country due to war. Keep in mind that they left their home, friends, and family just to have the “American Dream.” Hispanics work really hard. Nowadays, you will see Hispanics creating their own business. For example, my mom came here illegally and used to sell food back in a poor area. Now, I’m proud to say that she passed the citizenship test, works at a restaurant, and now live in a safe community.

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