Mes de la Herencia Hispaña

Celebrating Culture Together


Gissela Castelan

Influential People: Spanish 1 students create posters about influential Hispanic celebrities.

Gissela Castelan, Staff Writer

     Hispanic Heritage Month begins on September 15 and ends on October 15. The month-long holiday celebrates the history and culture of American citizens that come from Hispanic backgrounds. Not only is it celebrated in the United States, but worldwide as well. 

     Hispanic Heritage Month was originally observed as Hispanic Heritage Week during the presidency of Lyndon Johnson. However, President Ronald Reagan expanded it into a 30 day celebration. August 17, 1998 is when Hispanic Heritage Month was enacted into law. 

     Mrs. Jaime Annunziata, Spanish teacher, says she fell in love with the language when she was in high school. She says her teacher greatly impacted her passion for Spanish and how it was instilled in her to pursue it as a career.

     She says, “I have so much appreciation for the Hispanic culture and wherever I see it, it makes me happy. I’m constantly thinking about, when I see the culture in the real world – outside the school setting, how I can show the kids, get the kids to be excited about it and get them to love it as much as I do.”

     Mrs. Annunziata says she feels fortunate to teach Spanish as it includes teaching different cultures from many Spanish speaking countries and having her students learn about their history, food, and culture.

     Mrs. Elba Llantin-Cruz, Instructional Supervisor for Equity & Engagement, says she grew up in an encultured environment in her hometown Norwalk, CT. Mrs. Llantin-Cruz’s parents are both from Puerto Rico and surrounded her with the Spanish culture.  

     “During Christmas time, Las Nevadas, we would sing Puerto Rican songs and my dad used to play guitar, I would sing. My family was musical and now, I sing with my son and we travel around, singing the songs when Christmas comes along.” 

     Llantin-Cruz says she celebrates her culture through music and feels the greatest cultural appreciation when interacting with others using Spanish music. Hispanic Heritage Month is meaningful in celebrating Latinos, their accomplishments, and their influences in the community and the nation as a whole.

     Visaily Martinez, a junior at Foran, came to the United States in 2015 from the Dominican Republic. She says her family gets together to celebrate Dominican Independence Day every year and also likes to enjoy celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month. Visaily’s heritage pushes her to succeed more as someone who came outside of the U.S. and who celebrates the smaller details of her culture.

     She explains, “People should know more about it in order to respect it a little bit more and give it more importance. Hispanic Heritage Month means a lot to people and gives more representation to those who come from different countries.”