Catalina is a company that truly values diversity, which is why we are excited to highlight National Hispanic American Heritage Month. Running from September 15 – October 15, this month has been celebrated annually since 1968 to recognize the ways in which Hispanic Americans have positively influenced and contributed to our society.
Corporate celebrations of diversity can be tough – they can be touchy, reductive, and sometimes even insincere. These kinds of celebrations are not compatible with Catalina’s commitment to inclusiveness. So, rather than paying lip service, we’d like to highlight some concrete ways in which you can incorporate learning about, respecting, and appreciating Hispanic American contributions in your everyday life (and for hopefully longer than one month).
- Food. How could we post about Hispanic Americans without talking about food? I would bet that you can find a host of different Latine cuisines in a town near you. If you happen to find yourself in the nation’s capitol on October 6, consider attending the Latin American food festival, Sobremesa con NMAL.
- Arts. Arguably, some of the most famous painters of the 20th century were Latin American. However, art history doesn’t begin and end with Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. There are dozens of museums dedicated to Latin American arts and culture across the U.S., and now would be a great time to visit one. If you live in any of the same states as Catalina employees, you might consider going to Museo de las Americas in Colorado, Mexic-Arte Museum in Texas, the Gary Nader Latin American Art Centre in Florida, or the National Museum of the American Latino in Washington, DC.
- Literature. Reading is a wonderful way to get a feel for the cultures, experiences, struggles, and triumphs of the Hispanic American community. Many institutions publish lists every year to highlight a selection of books by Hispanic authors. We like this one from Goodreads for its wide selection, and this one from the New York Public Library for its break down by age group, in case you have a child or teen you’d like to share this with.
- Music and Dance. Undoubtedly, one of the most recognizable parts of Latine culture is music and dance, and it is one that probably exists in your everyday life in popular culture. If you want to do more exploration than just turning on the radio to listen to a Spanish language station, or hear any number of popular Latine artists in the Top 40, try taking a Latine dance class at a local dance studio!
- People. National Hispanic American Heritage Month is about more than just participating in some fun activities for a month. Nearly 20% of the US population is Latine, and they have been historically marginalized in this country. A wonderful way to show your support and appreciation of this community is to seek out and buy from Hispanic owned small businesses and artisans in your community.
Ultimately, awareness months are great, but integrating what you learn and experience during those months into your life on a regular basis is what actually creates meaningful recognition, respect, and support for underrepresented groups. That being said, we do hope you take the time to participate in some of these highlighted activities this fall.