Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated annually from September 15 – October 15. This year’s theme is Unidos: Inclusivity for a Stronger Nation. Our diversity is our strength, and our contributions to the culture, the economy, and the future of our nation cannot be denied. We are a varied community, from many different areas and climates.
The celebration starts mid-month because Sept. 15 marks the independence anniversary of five countries: Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. It is followed by Mexico’s Independence Day on Sept. 16 and Chile’s on Sept. 18. The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988, and celebrates the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.
In the controversies of the current divisions, the gifts and contributions of persons of cultures beyond the United States are often dismissed. Especially with the pejorative rhetoric of fear-mongering anti-immigration folks. It is horrific when immigrants seeking asylum from life threatening circumstances are used as pawns for politicians. To be sure our immigration system is broken, and we need to find solutions to these extremely complex issues. I fully believe, we have God given capabilities of heart, mind, and resources to creatively find the answers – should we so choose.
In the book, The Soul of Money,[i] Lynne Twist identifies three basic myths by which we tend to live. Briefly, 1.) there is not enough for everyone; 2.) more is better; 3.) that’s just the way it is. For me, number three is the most insidious – it’s giving in and giving up without even trying.
We are all created in the image of God and profoundly loved by our Creator. How can we learn from one another, moving past fear into a place of love that opens possibilities and promise for all? Be in conversation with people outside as well as within your own circle of friends and family. Do your research to learn about other cultures. Learn a new language. Listen to the issues. Vote. Pray for wisdom and guidance. Be in conversation with God. Practice radical hospitality. We have enough, when we learn to conserve and share. More is not better for some and not for others. And, we don’t have to settle for the “way things are.”
Let love continue among you. Don’t forget to extend your hospitality to all
—even to strangers—for as you know, some have unknowingly shown
kindness to heavenly messengers in this way.
Hebrews 13:1-2 The Voice Translation
[i] Lynne Twist ,The Soul of Money: Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Life, W. W. Norton & Company,