Utah students celebrate Hispanic Heritage month
Sep 22, 2022, 10:44 AM
SALT LAKE CITY — In honor of Latinx and Hispanic Heritage Month, some Utah college students are sharing all the things that make them unique.
Osvaldo Miranda attends the University of Utah. He says he struggled to connect with Latinx students like himself, so he formed the first ever Latinx Student Union on campus.
Through the Latinx Student Union, Miranda has gained friends who come from similar backgrounds.
“My dad is from Guatemala and then my mom’s dad, my abuelo, is from Mexico,” said Gabriela Merida with the Latinx Student Union.
For Jasmine Aguilar, she’s formed strong bonds too.
Celebrate Latinx & Hispanic Heritage Month this year, Utah! Events are being held across the state throughout September and October to recognize the unity, diversity, and contributions of this growing and vibrant community.
— Utah Division of Multicultural Affairs (@MulticulturalUT) September 9, 2022
“We’re just really excited it’s a safe place where we can speak Spanish,” she said.
Miranda said it’s about creating a safe space.
“We all kind of have similar struggles, fighting things like imposter syndrome,” he said.
This month, they celebrate Latinx and Hispanic Heritage by honoring the history and culture of their ancestors who hail from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.
The observance started in 1968 under President Lyndon Johnson’s administration as a one-week celebration called Hispanic Heritage Week. Years later, President Ronald Reagan proposed extending this celebration into a monthlong event. It was enacted into law on Aug. 17, 1988, officially designating the 30-day period starting on Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 as National Hispanic Heritage Month.
During Hispanic Heritage Month, we recognize the Hispanic and Latino communities in the state of Utah, whose love of family, strong work ethic, and willingness to share their heritage and traditions have made our state a more inclusive state and a better place to live. pic.twitter.com/KvEnycBQSw
— Utah Gov. Spencer J. Cox (@GovCox) September 15, 2022
Isabel Dulfano teaches world languages at the University of Utah.
“It’s important that we recognize all of these cultures. Each one has a value and a worth,” she said.
Forming this group is one way to remind the community they’re here year-round and can have a positive impact.
“This is the first time I felt like I could be a part of a community at the U. and feel safe,” said Melissa Pardo-Choza with Latinx Student Union.
Click here for a list of celebrations.