Hispanic Heritage Month takes place September 15th to October 15th every year as a time to recognize and celebrate the many contributions, diverse cultures, and extensive histories of the American Latinos and Immigrants. In 1968, Hispanic Heritage Month was originally observed as “Hispanic Heritage Week” under President Lyndon Johnson, but it was later extended to a month during President Ronald Reagan’s term in 1988.
Since then, the month has been celebrated nationwide through festivals, art shows, conferences, community gatherings, Churches and much more. The month also celebrates the independence days of several Latin American countries, including: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua on September 15th, Mexico on September 16th, and Chile on September 18th.
As we enter Hispanic Heritage Month, the question we must ask is, what are some things we can to do to honor Latino Americans and Immigrants from these beautiful countries?
- PRAY. Praying for Latino Americans and Immigrants is a great way to honor them this month. As many of us know, Latino Americans and Immigrants are facing a lot of scrutiny from–from mass shooting to being detained and separated from their families. Prayer is needed more than ever. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
- EAT. Take your family to eat at a Mexican, Salvadoran, Guatemalan, Honduran, etc. Restaurant. Don’t just cater in, but go eat inside of the restaurant to experience the culture and food. You can even say Happy Independence to the waiter or waitress.
- LATINO INVENTORS. Take time to learn about Latino inventors who have helped shape the United Stated in profound ways. Examples: Guillermo Gonzalez Camarena– Inventor of the color TV, Victor Celorio– Author/ Entrepreneur /Inventor, and Victor L. Ochoa – Revolutionary and Inventor.
- DONATE. There are many organizations serving Latinos and Immigrants around the country who can only advance their mission with the help of generous donations such as ours. Anything helps.
- VISIT A LATINO CHURCH. Latino Churches are thriving in the United States today and helping advance the Gospel. Visiting a Latino Church will help you see the beauty of diversity in the Church and experience a slice of what Heaven will be like one day.
- DO JUSTICE. There are 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States. Thousands of Migrants are at the Southern Border trying to seek asylum. Immigrants with grave illnesses who have come to the U.S. legally are facing possible deportation. The Immigration system is broken. The list goes on and on. We must seek to do justice by loving immigrants and migrants, and also calling our representatives because ultimately they have the power to finally fix the broken Immigration system that can once and for all be compassionate to Immigrants and respect the rule of law. Micah 6:8 says, “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”
- HIT A PIÑATA. Purchase a Piñata at a local Latino store or Wal-Mart, fill it with candy, spin one of your family members around in a circle ten times and then let them try to hit the piñata until it cracks open and all of the candy falls out. This is a beautiful and fun way to honor Hispanic Heritage Month!
These are just a few ways we can show honor to Latino Americans and Immigrants this Hispanic Heritage Month. What are some other ways we can do this?
By Rondell Treviño