Hispanic Heritage Month kicks off as Election Day looms

Israel Galarza

Israel Galarza III

For those who may be unaware, Hispanic Heritage Month began last Thursday and will run until Oct. 15.

It is a celebration designed to recognize prominent Latin Americans who have positively influenced Latin America and its history.

Individuals like Roberto Clemente, Cesar Chavez, Ricky Martin, Jennifer Lopez and Simon Bolivar are just among the few who have significantly impacted American culture, in one way or another.

The celebration of Hispanic heritage begins on Sept. 15 due to the date’s historical importance.

According to the Library of Congress, Sept. 15, 1821, is the date that the countries of Honduras, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua declared their independence from colonial Spain.

Both Mexico and Chile celebrate their respective independence days on Sept. 16 and 18, so the September to October time span encompasses the festivities of numerous Latin American nations.

Recognizing and appreciating Latin American culture is becoming increasingly important, especially as the Donald Trump-Hillary Clinton showdown reaches its peak in less than two months.

It’s fascinatingly ironic that Hispanic Heritage Month begins only three months before this critical election, a time where candidates are doing their all to gather as many states and electorates as possible.

This election has been one worthy of an Academy Award with swerves, comedic rhetoric and dramatic moments of tension leading up to November’s climatic finish.

We are either going to have our first female president or a businessman as our commander-in-chief, and Hispanics will play a critical role in deciding who will succeed President Obama in the Oval Office.

Hispanic Heritage Month is certainly worth celebrating, and the culture’s value in society can manifest in the form of a strong turnout for the election.

Now, more than ever, it is crucial that Latin Americans’ efforts are valued in today’s society.

As an individual from Puerto Rican and Taino Native American descent, I recognize that there have been many brave individuals before me who have made prospering in America easier for the younger generation.

Those efforts should still be held in high honor. Latin Americans deserve a leader who will value their role in America.

Luckily, they will be able to vote for their next president less than two months after Hispanic Heritage Month is over.

For anybody who hasn’t registered to vote yet, please do before October 11. Make sure that you choose a candidate who values and honors your heritage, as I hope the next candidate honors mine.

Israel Galarza III is a columnist, contact him at [email protected].