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Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month Through Learning

Sep. 24, 2020
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In this video Beto Gaytán from EDUCA Multimedia DPS introduces the Aztec Dancers performance in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, the first of a series of documentaries for the month produced by the Multicultural Outreach Office in Denver Public Schools. This documentary has been accepted by PBS 12 to air on their channels 12.1 and 12.2 for the next year.

DPS strives to recognize cultures and identities year-round. With equity as our core identity, we aim to celebrate the significant cultural moments of our students and staff, especially those that have not been historically and consistently recognized. During Hispanic Heritage Month, we are highlighting members of our DPS community and the historic contributions of Hispanic Americans to our local community in Colorado.

As we celebrate this cultural moment, it is especially important to be aware that our many students, families and staff members who identify with this month come from a range of backgrounds, and the term ‘Hispanic’ doesn’t fully describe all the cultures that are represented. 

The month honors “the culture and traditions of those who trace their roots to Spain, Mexico and the Spanish-speaking nations of Central America, South America, and the Caribbean,” according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Many use the terms ‘Hispanic’ and ‘Latino’  interchangeably, but there are nuances: some understand that Hispanic describes someone of Spanish-speaking origin, while Latino, Latina, and Latinx describes a person of Latin American origin. According to the Pew Research Center’s 2015 survey, “50% of Hispanics most often describe themselves by their family’s country of origin: 23% use the terms Latino or Hispanic, and 23% most often describe themselves as American. As for a preference between the terms Hispanic or Latino, the survey found that 32%…prefer “Hispanic,” 15% prefer the term “Latino” and the rest (51%) have no preference.”

We have a rich Hispanic history in Colorado to celebrate. The City of Denver has put together a list of events to celebrate Hispanic Heritage month, available here. The History Colorado Museum in collaboration with Denver Latino Cultural Arts Center is currently exhibiting historically significant paintings, sculptures, textiles, and writings from Colorado’s Chicano/Mexican American community — the exhibit is called “Hecho en Colorado,” and is open with limited capacity through January 2021. 

Learn more about the history of Hispanic Heritage month here.