Celebrating Hispanic Culture at Becton

Mrs. Sanchez teaches Spanish 4 Honors during the 2020-2021 school year.

J. Sanchez

Mrs. Sanchez teaches Spanish 4 Honors during the 2020-2021 school year.

Every year, National Hispanic Heritage Month takes place from September 15 to October 15 in the United States, celebrating the histories, cultures, and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors’ roots are from Hispanic and Latin American countries. However, at Becton Regional High School, teachers and students celebrate Hispanic cultures throughout the year.

The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for many Latin American countries, including Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16th and September 18th, respectively. Also, Columbus Day or Día de la Raza, which is October 12, falls within this 30 day period.

Students researching Hispanic figures during their Spanish class. (J. Sanchez)

In 1988, Congress passed Pub. L. 100-402 (PDF, 58KB) which amended Pub. L. 90-498 (PDF, 153 KB) and established National Hispanic Heritage Month.  The President was again authorized and requested to issue an annual proclamation designating the “31-day period beginning September 15 and ending on October 15″ as National Hispanic Heritage Month.  President George H.W. Bush issued the first proclamation, Presidential Proclamation 6021, for National Hispanic Heritage Month on September 14, 1989. Since then,  Presidents BillClinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald J. Trump have all issued annual proclamations for National Hispanic Heritage Month.  

The Presidential Proclamation 6021 states the importance of Hispanic Heritage month and what Hispanic or Hispanic Americans have contributed to the United States such as Private Silvestre Herrera of Arizona or Lieutenant Colonel Jose Holguin of California who fought against Germany during World War II, creation of churches or settlements like St. Augustine in Florida from even before the foundation of Jamestown. It also highlights the contributions of Hispanics in the modern era that aren’t visible to our society like Hispanic artists in galleries or politicians in the government, hence the creation of this month.

We interviewed Mrs. Sanchez, one of the Spanish teachers at Becton Regional about what we do as a school to celebrate Hispanic heritage “we celebrate Hispanic Heritage all throughout the year. Students do research on different countries and their way of life. We celebrate many traditions like 5 de Mayo, el Dia de Los Muertos and Christmas with songs, arts and crafts, field trips and really enjoy different traditions celebrated throughout Latin America” Mrs. Sanchez also added that, “specifically, during the months of September and October students research an influential Hispanic and his or her contributions to the Spanish community. The individual had to [have had] positively contributed to the Spanish language and culture that surrounds us”. Additionally, students created multimedia presentations and presented them in class using their target language. Furthermore, during the time of Carnaval, Becton students celebrate Hispanic culture. Prior to Covid-19, students have shared food items from around the world and have observed customs in foreign countries. As Mrs. Sanchez explains, the goal of these activities is to “promote tolerance and appreciation for other languages and cultures.”