Celebrating Hispanic heritage month at MHS

Hadyn Nuttall, Sports/Entertainment Editor

   “Culture is everything,” said senior Naomi Cabachuela, President of Puertas. 

   Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated every year beginning on September 15th, the anniversary of independence for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, and ending on October 15th. 

   Puertas, MHS’ Hispanic and Latin culture club, celebrated by decorating the cafeteria with flags and traditional papel picado as well as dancing, playing music, and several fundraisers. 

   “I’m very proud of my culture and I talk about it all the time and I like to celebrate it,” said Sol Cabachuela, Equity and Community Coordinator at MHS and one of Puertas’ sponsors, “This country is built on people from all backgrounds and that’s the beautiful part of it.”

   It’s important to recognize the contributions and lives of hispanic people especially with “over half” of our student body identifying as Hispanic or Latino according to Sol Cabachuela. 

   Carsyin Rodriguez, English teacher and one of Puertas’ sponsors, said one of the most important parts of celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month is to recognize and support the diversity of everyone’s life experiences and even though they may be different from one another those perspectives and experiences also matter. 

   Puertas is open to everyone who wants to celebrate Hispanic culture. The club has no limit on members and they love to see more students engaging with what they do. 

   “We encourage not just Hispanics or Latinos to join our club, but everyone to try and join it and to be involved with it,”  said junior Alessandro Roman, Vice President of Puertas. 

   Students in the club love seeing support from staff members and other students engaging with their culture and their efforts to celebrate their identities. They encourage everyone to come 

   “I think everyone needs to be open minded. I think everyone needs to be curious about other cultures, that means going out of your comfort zone,” said Sol Cabachuela. 

   Understanding and celebrating everyone’s culture is a key part of coming together as a community and supporting one another. 

   “I think students bring their whole selves with them every day and that includes their identity, their culture, their heritage. If we want to get to know our students to teach our students to be able to have relationships with our students we need to recognize their whole selves, not just who they are in the classroom but who they are overall,” said Rodriguez. 

   Culture is a major part of people’s lives and identities. 

   “Culture has helped me find who I am because sometimes I don’t know what I am since I have a Mexican-American background, so it’s helping me identify what I can relate to. For me personally I think it helps me connect with a lot of people who are in a similar culture as me,” said Roman.

   Even though Hispanic Heritage Month is over there is always more to learn. The celebration of culture and diversity in our country and the Mundelein community doesn’t have to end even though the month did.

   Said Naomi Cabachuela, “Celebrating our culture is just engaging in everything the culture has to offer.”