Info courtesy of Compass Advisor, Cristina Allen. Photo Courtesy of blogs.chapman.edu

Hispanic Heritage Month pays tribute to the generations of Hispanic Americans who have positively influenced and enriched our nation and society. It particularly celebrates Hispanic arts and culture and is therefore supported by: The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Who’s being recognized in 2019?  Dolores Huerta the activist, Roberto Clemente the baseball player, and Sonia Sotomayor the Supreme Court Justice are just three Hispanics being recognized in 2019.  You may find out more about the Latino culture by visiting the Smithsonian Latino Center website http://latino.si.edu.

Who do I admire?  Two significant Hispanics that I admire are Dolores Huerta and Adolfo Anaya.  Both native New Mexicans (as myself) whose impact on the Hispanic community still resonates today.

Dolores Huerta was born on April 10, 1930, in the mining town of Dawson, New Mexico.  She worked for labor rights, civil rights and social justice for more than 60 years. In 1962, she and César Chávez founded the United Farm Workers union. She served as vice president and played a critical role in many of the union’s accomplishments for four decades. She also coined the term, “SI SE PUEDE” – a chant inspired Barack Obama’s 2008 Presidential campaign slogan. In 2012, President Barack Obama awarded her the Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.  As a role model to many in the Latino community, Huerta is the subject of many murals and a 2017 film directed by Peter Bratt, called “Dolores.”

Rudolfo Anaya was born October 30, 1937, in Pastura, New Mexico.  He is an American novelist and educator whose fiction expresses his Mexican American heritage, the tradition of folklore and storytelling in Spanish..  Bless Me, Ultima was Anaya’s first novel and is the story of a young boy growing up in New Mexico in the late 1940s and an elderly healer who changes his life.  I remember reading Bless Me, Ultima in the 10th grade at Las Cruces High School in New Mexico, as part of our English class.  Fast forward to my children attending schools in Nashville, TN, and to my delight, Bless Me, Ultima was required reading in my daughter’s 11th grade class.

How do I experience more of Nashville’s Hispanic and global community? 

1. El Día de los Muertos  https://cheekwood.org/calendar/el-dia-de-los-muertos)

Saturday, November 2, 2019
9 am – 5 pm
Free for 17 and under

El Día de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead, is one of the most important celebrations in Mexico and Latin America. The festivals, known for their colorful decorations, energetic music, and elaborate displays, demonstrate the culture’s strong sense of love and respect for ancestors while celebrating the continuance of life. Each year, Cheekwood brings the traditions of Mexico and Latin America to Nashville with a festival that includes traditional music and dance, vibrant art activities, and authentic cuisine. Visitors will learn about the culture of our Latin American neighbors while exploring beautiful altar displays and shopping in the marketplace.