National Hispanic American Heritage Month


Photo Courtesy of Sashiana Amsbaugh-Murrieta

Mrs. Neil, a Spanish teacher at Silver Creek High School, stands in front of the independence posters her and her students made for Hispanic Heritage Month, on October 8th, 2021.

As the Latinx/Hispanic population grows throughout the US, the representation of these groups has grown as well, especially in public high schools such as Silver Creek.

Starting September 15th, Silver Creek High School celebrates Latinx/Hispanic heritage month. Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month is a time that celebrates the independence of Hispanic countries around the globe, such as Chile, Brazil, Mexico, Spain and other Latin and Hispanic countries.

Silver Creek’s Hispanic population makes up 24% of the student body, according to the Boulder County Public School Review of 2021. As a quarter of the school is Hispanic, Silver Creek has made it a priority to celebrate this community and what it means to be a Latinx/Hispanic individual.

“This month is important because it shows diversity, it shows that all of us, either by one member of our family or another, we have some ancestry from either Latin America or Spain, and it’s nice to embrace, … it makes you feel more connected to your culture,” says Analaura Menchaca, a Spanish teacher at Silver Creek.

This year Silver Creek has a collection of challenges for Latinx/Hispanic heritage month, being run by Mrs.Kristin Holtz, the school’s librarian. “We wanted to find ways for students to get involved, and what would be possible for high schoolers,” added Holtz.

As most high schoolers can relate to music, Holtz utilized this in one of the month’s challenges, a collection of activities students can complete for a final prize at the end of the month. “We find our music niche and stay with it, and we don’t always consider other types of music. So sometimes it’s just a matter of recognizing that there are already artists we listen to with that heritage, so it helps students make that connection,” explained Mrs. Holtz.

Most students have some connection or another to Hispanic culture, whether it’s through their family, friends, favorite actors, or music. So by making these connections clear, non-Hispanic students can too celebrate this holiday.

As Silver Creek continues to celebrate this month in the later years, there are changes some would like to see take hold. It seems one way Silver Creek could improve Latinx/Hispanic representation is by adding things to the way they portray Hispanic culture.

“Hispanic culture is more than food and parties. Hispanics have many stories based on our ancestors, how the Spanish broke a lot of our culture, and also how the Spanish integrated their culture into our culture and created a brand new way to celebrate and do things,” said Janett Amsbaugh, a parent of a student at Silver Creek.

One way to represent these nations would be by highlighting Hispanic American successes, as Mrs. Holtz added. “I really wanted to bring in business owners that are Latin American … like a restaurant owner who could do some sort of cooking challenge or demonstration … but maybe in the future,” explained Holtz.

Hispanic Heritage Month is not only about a nation’s food or culture, but it’s about their scientific and historical advances that have shaped the world we live in today. So as more students fill Silver Creek High School, it’s important to remember the importance of broadening Hispanic representation in the years to come.