LOCAL NEWS

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.

“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.

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.

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Utah students celebrate Hispanic Heritage month