Each year National Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated in United
States from September 15 to October 15. The month celebrates the histories, cultures and contributions of people whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America and currently are part of the United States.
The initial date was chosen given that September 15 is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September18, respectively.
According to this Census, 50.5 million people or 16% of the population are of Hispanic or Latino origin. This represents a significant increase from 2000, which registered the Hispanic population at 35.3 million or 13% of the total U.S. population.
Hispanics have had a profound and positive influence on the country through their strong commitment to family, faith, hard work, and service. They have enhanced and shaped the national character with centuries-old traditions that reflect the multiethnic and multicultural customs of their community.
Hispanic Heritage Month is a time for all citizens of United States to celebrate and reflect on the many contributions the Latino community has made to the nation. It’s also important to look ahead and understand what the growing Latino community means for the country as a whole, and how Latinos are translating growth in numbers into political, cultural and economic influence.
Whether it’s through opening businesses, leading current social and political movements, or impacting culture - Latinos are making significant contributions to all facets of the country’s life.
The 2015 theme is ‘Honoring our Past. Building our Future.
Therefore it is a good time to reflect on the words from the Oaxacan Jose Vasconcellos, secretary of education in Mexico’s first post-Revolutionary government, who called the mix a new race: la raza cosmica or “the cosmic race.” He and his intellectual companions held that Mexico had people of mixed indigenous, African, and European ancestry, and was therefore moving beyond the boundaries of the old world.
La Raza Cósmica (The Cosmic Race) is an essay written by late Mexican philosopher, secretary of education, and 1929 presidential candidate, José Vasconcelos, to express the ideology of a future “fifth race” in the Americas; an agglomeration of all the races in the world with no respect to color or number to erect a new civilization: Universópolis.
People from the Americas have the blood of all the world’s so-called “races”: European, Asian-descended native Americans and Africans, thereby transcending the peoples of the “old world”.
Vasconcelos believed one day La Raza Cósmica would erect a new civilization, Universópolis, where traditional ideas of race and nationality would be transcended in the name of humanity’s common destiny. But if you examine the demographics, the cosmic race seems to be emerging. President Obama himself is biracial, and according to the U.S. census, half of all Americans under 5 are Black, Latino or Asian.
It is with hope that we can look around in the country and see so many inter marriages with children that no longer belong to one specific culture and do not want to pledge allegiance to an specific group of people.
The so many migrations caused by war, violence and persecution gave way to a new generation of children who are finding new ways to create a common destiny.
Maybe in the future we will have a national month to celebrate those children.
El Puente, LLC. ©