It is National Hispanic Heritage Month - a time to acknowledge the history, culture and contributions of Americans whose ancestry can be traced to over 20 countries in Latin America, including Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean. Through a variety of activities, Reinhardt University will celebrate the histories, cultures and contributions of the Latinx/Hispanic communities to the United States. The activities are designed to celebrate, engage with and learn about the Latinx/Hispanic community.
National Hispanic Heritage Month runs Sept. 15 through Oct. 15. These dates were chosen because they coincide with important dates in many Latin American countries. Sept. 15 is the anniversary of independence for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua., Mexico celebrates their independence on Sept. 16, Chile celebrates on Sept. 18, and Belize celebrates on Sept. 21. The United States has approximately 60 million people who have ancestries connected to these countries, which represents approximately 18% of the U.S. population. At Reinhardt, approximately 10% of the student population identifies as Hispanic or Latinx.
Throughout the entire 30-day period, visitors to the Funk Heritage Center can view a special mini-exhibit, “Masks of Mexico.” Co-curated by Jessie Landers ‘22, the exhibit showcases the Center’s collection of handcrafted masks from Guerrero, Mexico. Use of masks in Mexican culture dates back thousands of years, well before the arrival of the Spanish. Today masks are still an important part of the culture and are used in traditional dances and ceremonies. This is the first time in over 15 years these masks have been out on exhibit, so be sure to stop by the Funk Heritage Center and see them. Admission is free for all Reinhardt students, faculty/staff and alumni. Visit www.reinhardt.edu/funkheritage for regular admission rates and museum hours.
Other activities aimed to get Reinhardt students involved in the celebration include:
- Loteria Game Night – Loteria is a Spanish word meaning “lottery.” It is a game of chance very similar to bingo. Players each have a playing board (tabla) with a grid of pictures. A caller uses a deck of cards, each card displaying a picture, and pulls card from the deck at random. The players check their board to see if they have that picture and mark it with a chip or other marker. Players win by filling a row, column, diagonal or a group of images in a square pattern. Traditionally, a player shouts “Buena!” or “Loteria!” when they win. This game originated in Spain and was brought to Mexico in 1769.
- Cook-off – Students are invited to get a cooking lesson provided by Metz Culinary Services.
- Stronger Together Series: The Hispanic Experience – As part of Reinhardt’s continued discussion on race, Sept. 27, the discussion turns to the Hispanic experience. This is part of a series of open dialogues for the community to come together to share concerns and feelings and to discuss the impact of current events and how racism and inequalities impact our lives, studies and our work. This is open to anyone on or off campus. Registration is required. Learn more at www.reinhardt.edu/strongertogether.
- Hispanic Movie Night – Reinhardt students can enjoy a special movie night to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month.
Learn more about National Hispanic Heritage Month at www.hispanicheritagemonth.gov. This site combines resources from 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 and includes teaching resources, links to national virtual events, and more.