Dorsey High School was proud to acknowledge and celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with activities, lessons, projects and workshops. Hispanic Heritage Month is observed in the United States between September 15th and October 15th.
September 15th was chosen as the start date of Hispanic Heritage Month, because that date represents Independence Day for five Latin American countries; Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua all of which declared independence in 1821. Mexico and Chile celebrate their Independence on September 16th and September 18th respectively, and both countries declared independence in 1810.
Before independence, all of these countries were a part of the Empire of Spain. Hispanic Heritage observations began in the United States in 1968 under the administration of President Lyndon Baines Johnson. It began as Hispanic Heritage Week. It was expanded to Hispanic Heritage Month in 1988 under the Reagan Administration. It is a time set aside to recognize the generations of Hispanic Americans who have positively influenced and enriched our nation and our society.
Dorsey High School is proud to have a foreign language department that has instructors from various countries in Latin America. Ms. Flor Contreras, was born in El Salvador, Mr. Sammy Alice’- Diaz was born in Puerto Rico, and Ms. Ruth Vasquez is from Mexico. Students in their classes celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month by creating posters highlighting the food, traditions, music and dances that are unique to Hispanic culture.
There was a special schoolwide event where students brought authentic dishes, jewelry, clothing and other artifacts for display in the Magnet Quad Area. Members of the staff and the student body visited the exhibits and sampled food items to learned more about Hispanic heritage. A tribal singer /guitarist by the name of Margarita was invited to play her tribal instruments and teach a few songs to students.
Students who participated in the musical experience were very engaged and stayed afterward to ask questions. The schoolwide activity was organized by Amanda Williams who is a Social Studies Instructor at Dorsey. Ms. Williams was born in Guyana.
Alex Juan, who is a senior at Dorsey reflected on the importance of Hispanic Heritage Month. “Hispanic Heritage Month is the month that the Hispanics around the world celebrate where we are from. Food, clothing and music can be a way to represent it so people know what country you are from,” said Juan.
“It is a month where you can communicate with other people about your background and where you came from and you will find that some people would even be interested in learning more. It is also a time for the people to tell their stories about the past. It also means a time of family gathering, eating and talking at the table about our history,” he added.
Dorsey High School enjoys a student population that is about 55% Black and 45% Hispanic. There is a great amount of harmony, unity and celebration of diversity amongst the staff and students. Hispanic Heritage Month 2022 was a truly an enjoyable and enlightening experience for the entire Dorsey High School community.