Diversity in thought, background, and culture has always been one of the driving forces behind our success at the TMX Finance® Family of Companies. That’s why we’re proud to honor the unique contributions and individual achievements of our Hispanic and Latinx Team Members during Hispanic Heritage Month. This month, celebrated in the U.S. on September 15th through October 15th, pays tribute to the contributions and influence of the Hispanic and Latinx communities.
Lyndon B. Johnson declared National Hispanic Heritage Week in 1968 and it was later expanded into a 30-day period by Ronald Reagan in 1988. With Hispanic and Latinx history, heritage, and culture having a pivotal role in the development of the United States, there’s no need to wait until mid-September to celebrate and honor this rich culture.
Not only is this a time to celebrate culture, but a time to educate yourself on the heritage, traditions, and cultural norms within the very diverse Hispanic and Latinx population. If Hispanic Heritage Month is new to you or you want more ways to actively support Hispanic and Latinx people in your community, then consider this list as a starting point for how to incorporate more heritage, culture, and education into your day-to-day.
This list was curated in partnership with volunteers from our Hispanic/Latinx workforce for Hispanic Heritage Month.
- Know the facts. Educate yourself on the history of Latin America and the resilient leaders that influenced the Hispanic and Latinx culture we know and appreciate today. If nothing else, learn the difference between “appreciation” and “appropriation” and understand that, while Hispanics may have commonalities, they are an immensely diverse group with their own individual cultural identities.
“Others can celebrate Hispanic heritage by simply learning about different Hispanic cultures! Many individuals tend to believe it’s all the same, and that is not the case. Get out there and enjoy different dishes, watch something different, and meet new people!”
Alexandria Caballero, Store Manager
- Taste the culture. If you don’t have an abuela to cook her authentic pozolé, support your local Hispanic-owned restaurants and mercados to get a taste of the culture. Some of our team’s favorite Latin dishes include chile relleno, tacos de asada (steak tacos), enchiladas, red menudo, mole, and the perfect breakfast, chilaquiles. Learn more about food and family here.
“My favorite Latin dish would have to be Pernil con Mofongo. This dish is native to Puerto Rico and it is roasted pork shoulder with mashed plantains. It is simply delicious, and it brings me back to my childhood.”
Carlos Aponte, General Manager
- Watch something epic. For after-hours fun, watch some Latin American films or films directed by Hispanic and Latinx directors. Our team recommends La misma luna (“Under the Same Moon”), Como agua para chocolate (“Like Water for Chocolate”), Instructions Not Included, and Selena. If you love to binge a good day time drama, try a light-hearted novela like “La fea más bella.”
“Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu is one of the best directors that represents Mexico. He’s won several academy awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor.”
Enrique Gonzalez, General Manager
- Experience the art. During this month, many Hispanic and Latinx outlets will showcase the vibrant art and artists from Latin America and Spain, including Salvador Dalí, Pablo Picasso, and Diego Rivera. You may be surprised to find that many of your favorite pieces of art are from Hispanic and Latinx artists or inspired by their work!
“Obviously Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and David Alfaro Siqueiros who became famous artist depicting the harsh working conditions of Mexicans.”
Laura Gonzalez, General Manager
- Honor the holidays. In the U.S., we often confuse Cinco de Mayo for “Mexican Independence Day”, when their true Día de la Independencia is September 16th. Costa Rica, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, and El Salvador celebrate their Independence Day on the 15th, Chile celebrates on the 18th, andBelize on the 21st of September.Become knowledge of the special dates important within this diverse community and find ways to honor them in appreciation and support of their culture. Learn more about traditions and holidays here and here.
“One of the celebrations we do annually is Noche de Grito in September! Not only is it one of Mexico’s most celebrated holidays, but also my eldest son’s Guillermo’s birthday. We try to re-create what my grandmother would do as a child; hot chocolate, cookies, and other Mexican delicacies on that day. At our store we always have colorful flowers and decorations displayed that are daily decorations in Mexico. I am very proud of my culture and want to show our customers how proud we are.”
Laura Gonzalez, General Manager
- Read the literature. If you prefer to curl up with a good book, fall in love with a story from a Hispanic or Latinx author.
“Two of my favorite authors are Sandra Cisneros and Richard Rodriguez, both write about the working-class people and the struggles in life.”
Laura Gonzalez, General Manager
- Feel the music. From bosa nova and banda to cumbia and bachata, nothing will get you to move your feet more than music with roots in Latin America. Latin music is widely represented in pop culture throughout America today, so listen for Latin American influences or try some of the artists recommended by our team: Santa Cecilia, Marc Anthony, Edwin Luna y La Trakalosa de Montgerrey, Selena y los Dinos, and Mexican classics like Antonio Aguilar, María Félix, Los Tigres del Norte.
“El Rey by Vicente Fernández will get every Mexican on their feet singing at the top of their lungs.”
Ana Escamilla Pereyra, General Manager
- Take a field trip. You don’t always need to travel south to find rich Hispanic heritage. Visit a local heritage museum, cultural arts center, church, or historic neighborhood to get a feel of Hispanic influence on architecture and Latinx representation in media. Our Tucson team recommends a variety of places including San Xavier del Bac Mission Catholic Church, the Mexican American History and Heritage Museum, Barrio Viejo, University of Arizona Mexican American Studies department, and the Statue of Pancho Villa.
- Learn from a Latinx.Find a Hispanic or Latinx organization, or virtual conference where you can hear from a Latinx leader or keynote speaker. If you’re at work, or in a social setting, offer your Hispanic and Latinx colleagues the opportunity to lead a meeting or share a story. Celebrating culture and heritage means creating space for members of that culture to express themselves.
If you’re not sure where to start, we invite you to read about traditions and personal stories from some of our very own Hispanic and Latinx Leaders like Gilbert Garcia, Nicolas Rodriguez, James Romero, Laura Gonzalez, Letisia Luna Contreras, Jessica Gamino, Loyda Vazquez, and Violeta Banuelos.
- Support the community. Whether through volunteering or reoccurring donations, find a local organization that supports the Hispanic and Latinx community in your area and help them out. If you have a skill that can benefit the community, for example if you can act as a translator or a tutor, find ways to collaborate with local or national organizations to use your knowledge in support of the Hispanic and Latinx community.
In closing, there are many ways you can support, honor, and show appreciation for the Hispanic and Latinx individuals in your life. Hispanic Heritage Month opens the door to fostering a more inclusive and welcoming community through celebration, but we hope you continue these actions throughout the year. Let us know how you plan to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn!