By: Heaven Osborne
National Hispanic American Heritage month started Sept. 15 and continues through Oct. 15. Throughout the month there are several activities and events to celebrate the Hispanic roots in our nation both in the community and on campus. There are many events to attend in Nashville and there will be a Fall Festival Food Day on the Gallatin Volunteer State campus as an extension of Hispanic Heritage Month. Additionally, Dr. Jaime Sanchez, a professor at Vol State, will be speaking on a panel Nov. 17 about religion in Mexico.
According to a proclamation from The White House and President Joe Biden on Sept. 14, 2022, Hispanic American Heritage Month is now nationally recognized each year from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. This month celebrates the diversity and contributions the Hispanic population has brought to the United States.
“During National Hispanic Heritage Month, we reaffirm that diversity is one of our country’s greatest strengths. And our deepest values have been informed by the love of family and faith that is at the core of so many Hispanic communities,” said President Biden.
Tennessee residents can acknowledge Hispanic Heritage Month and participate in activities such as the Night Market and Latin Fire at Plaza Mariachi throughout October. There is a permanent exhibit at the Tennessee State Museum called First Peoples in honor of Tennessee’s Spanish ancestors. There are also activities for children at the Nashville Public Library including, story times with Rachel Rodriguez and arts and crafts events. Vol State students can look forward to Fall Festival Food Day October 13th from 11am-1pm. Students can enjoy food and recipes and learn about Latinx and other cultures.
Students can also tune in to a panel on Nov. 17 where Professor Jaime Sanchez will be speaking about religion in Mexico.
Dr. Sanchez moved to the United States from Mexico at 22 years old. Dr. Sanchez teaches Spanish at Volunteer State Community College and was able to provide information about what he experienced moving to the United States and his thoughts about Hispanic Heritage Month.
When he moved to the U.S., Dr. Sanchez found it, “Not easy to adapt to American culture”.
Dr. Sanchez commented on how everything was different in the United States when moving from Mexico. He said, “Communication, food, weather, and even traffic laws.” were different.
When asked about whether he felt welcome in the United States when he moved here, Dr. Sanchez said, “The U.S. feels less welcoming now.” Dr. Sanchez would also say that the U.S. was more welcoming when he moved here at the age of 22.
Recognition such as National Hispanic American Heritage Month can make the U.S. more welcoming, “If done correctly,” said Dr. Sanchez.
Tennessee and Vol State recognizes National Hispanic American Heritage month through the many events in Nashville and on campus throughout September and October. Students can learn about the impact of Hispanic Heritage in our country and welcome Hispanic culture through celebration and education on campus and in our community.