Hispanic Heritage Month: An Overview

Kayce Fuentes, Staff Writer

Although many look at this time of year as when the leaves begin to change, sweatshirts are pulled out of storage and the air gets a certain chill to it, Millikin is proud to show that, for this month, there is so much more.

Hispanic Heritage began on September 15 and continues on until October 15. The purpose of this month is to celebrate people of Hispanic origin and all that they have accomplished.

Here on campus, there are various activities planned throughout the month. A few events have already occurred, such as having Daniel Hernandez come and speak, learning how to salsa and watching a Hispanic movie.

According to the official Hispanic Heritage Month website, “The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a thirty day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988, on the approval of Public Law 100-402.”

On the Millikin website it states, “This month was created to recognize the contributions of the Hispanic and Latino Americans. Furthermore, this is the time to learn more about the history and legacy within Hispanic and Latino community.”

In fact, the CDC said that, “According to the U.S. Census Bureau, population estimates as of July 1, 2013, there are roughly fifty four million Hispanics living in the United States, representing approximately seventeen percent of the U.S. total population, making people of Hispanic origin the nation’s largest ethnic or race minority. The U.S. Hispanic population for 2060 is estimated to reach 128.8 million, constituting approximately thirty-one percent of the U.S. population by that date.”

Many people can take advantage of Hispanic Heritage month and learn about the Hispanic culture and art forms, such as the works of Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali.

Dillon Blankenship, a Hispanic freshman here on campus, is proud to have this here at Millikin.

“It’s great to see people try and learn about our culture,” Blankenship said. “There have been many things in the media that give us a bad image, and it is good to see our history and successes being brought out into the open.”

Another organization here on campus is the Latin Americans Student Organization (or LASO), in which Hispanic students meet other students here at Millikin. Those interested in learning more about the Hispanic culture than what is provided here on campus may be interested in taking a Spanish class, going to www.hispanicheritagemonth.gov or even exploring Spanish artists’ works.

The month has a very promising outlook for entertainment and enrichment here on campus and guarantees that students leave with a sense of cultural understanding.