As we near the beginning of the fall season, events throughout universities around the country celebrating Latino Heritage Month become commonly popularized.
Flyers for movie nights, cultural celebrations, food fundraisers, athletic events and performances become increasingly common. There are even some events featuring distinguished speakers from various prominent fields.
However, it has come to my attention that there aren’t as many events about Latino history or politics as there should be. And if there are events of this nature, they usually aren’t as popular as a party or dinner would be.
Growing up in a country that rarely offers Latino history classes at young ages, many college students of Latin American descent find themselves unaware of their nation’s history and are often oblivious to the events occurring within their prospective homelands.
As an involved college student who is primarily concerned with the progression of Latino education, this issue has captured my attention as a problem that must be addressed.
According to CNN’s news special entitled Latino in America, the number of Latinos living in the United States who are fully aware of their country’s history and politics is declining, despite the growing number of Latino immigrants coming into the country. The news special also says that many young Latinos living in the United States are more familiar with the historical and political structures of this country, instead
of their original homeland.
While I do believe that it is important to be aware of the history and politics of the United States, I feel that the declining rates of Latinos learning about their own history and culture demonstrate a waning rate of passion for progression in Latin America.
This is a significant problem because if Latino students who attend college in the United States never learn about the history or political structures of their homelands (often in disrepair), they won’t have the drive or passion to use the magnificent resources available in this country to help their people back home.
Typically, the individuals of Latin American descent who help empower communities within their impoverished countries study and attend college in the United States.
If the population of Latino students in the United States isn’t accustomed to learning about their history, then they can never make a better path for the future of their country.
Currently, there are several events at St. John’s that will be held during Latino Heritage Month like “Christopher Columbus, Hero or Murderer” and “Arizona Immigration Law Debate” that serve to discuss historical and political issues that concern Latin America.
However, I believe that more events like these should be held in order to foster and cultivate a strong appreciation of Latino history and politics so that people who attend these events can be influenced to make a difference in their community. As Latinos, we should take the time to learn about our roots so we can educate ourselves to eventually uplift our communities..
If not, we run the risk of completely forgetting about our roots and not solving the political and historical issues concerning the countries of Latin America.