Thursday, October 15, 2009

Final Thoughts on Hispanic Heritage Month from me and YOU the readers

I just wanted to share some of the responses that I got from the Celebration of Hipsanic Heritage Month giveaway.

1. The majority of people agreed that their favorite thing about Latino culture is the food. The food is definitely one of my favorites too (quesadillas, flan, ropa vieja, tres leches, paella, ochata, etc.). I also love how pretty the Spanish language is and how it unites so many people. even though not all words are the same, for the most part if you speak Spanish and go to another Spanish-speaking country you'll be able to understand everyone just fine (it may be a bit more difficult if you speak Central American/South American Spanish and you go to Spain, where they speak Castilian Spanish). Other responses were; soccer (futbol!), and the people. In my experience many Latinos are very hospitable, warm and loving. Also there is such a great diversity amongst us, especially in skin color. The white Cubans, tan Mexicans, dark Dominicans (of course these are only examples there are also dark Cubans, dark and light Mexicans tan Puerto Ricans, light Dominicans etc.). It's sad but too often in Latino culture light skin is valued more than dark skin, in fact, some Latino families don't want their kids associating with dark skinned kids(remember some of the fuss going on about J-Lo dating P.Diddy?). I've dealt with this myself. One of my Latina friends told me she couldn't invite me over to her house, because her mom doesn't like dark people, especially not African Americans. This made me sad, but I got over it because at least my friend didn't feel the same way!

We are a triumphant people. Like all cultures, we've had our bad moments (Inquisiton, way too many Latin American dicators, etc.) but we also come out ok and ready to improve! As Caesar Chavez said: Si Se Puede! We are a beautiful and proud people. We are the (or soon to be) number one minority group in America. We have power (as consumers and as voters). Let's get more Latinos in Congress, especially in the Senate!

The most common place people wanted to visit was Mexico or Spain. I've been to Mexico and Panama, but I want to see all the Spanish-speaking countries*. My highest priority is Spain, then Puerto Rico, Cuba, Colombia, Argentina, Chile, Guatemala, Ecuador and all other Central/South American Spanish-speaking countries, ending with mi patria (my country) of Panama.
*Side note: Belize is NOT a Spanish-speaking country. It's an all too common mistake. They speak English and French.

Some response I want to share: Everyone's response was wonderful and I appreciate all of you sharing your thoughts and entering!

Bookweirdo: i love hispanic heritage month because i am hispanic and am very proud of my culture. People may say they like the diversity or whatever but really its the food it's too good to be true(my mom cooks the best tamales).

Isa: Well, I'm Mexican so I like September since it's the month of independence. My mom's b-day is a day before it! :)
All these books sound really cool and I'm a little sad that I haven't heard of them before. Have you read Perfect Chemistry? My favorite book ever, I think. I think I would visit Spain since that's where it all started.

-That is what Reading in Color is all about. Introducing people to books that they haven't heard of before with teenage poc.

Zetta:What I love about Latino culture is what I love about black culture: respect for ancestors and elders, the centrality of family, and the FOOD!

Wanda: I like Hispanic Heritage Month because it draws my attention to the type of books I don't normally read. I love reading different types of books.
-Yay Wanda!

YA Vampire Books: Why do you like Hispanic Heritage Month? - I think it's interesting to learn about other cultures and other ways of living, which you do when you read for example hispanic books.
2. Your favorite aspect of Latino culture - I love that the people is very nice and warm-hearted (at least the ones I met)I also love the food!!

Okibum:I am an elementary school Spanish teacher and love Hispanic Heritage Month because it reminds me not to just teach language, but culture is just important. I love to celebrate famous Latinos to show my students that there is a lot more to the Spanish speaking world than a 30 minute class three times a week

-Amen! :)

Allie: My favorite aspect of Latino culture is the literature. The literature not only debunks and deconstructs stereotypes. It is also delightful and insightful, engaging readers with plots and characters that are sharp, stirring, and scintillating.

-Junot Diaz, Isabel Allende, Gabriel Garcia Marequez, Julia Alvarez. Amazing!

Ladysilver: Why do you like Hispanic Heritage Month? I love learning about all heritages. unfortunately it is only during HHM or BHM that the world allows that extra peek into our cultures.
2. Your favorite aspect of Latino culture...The food..can not say enough about the yummy diverse options.

Paradox: Your favorite aspect of Latino culture - I love so much about it! The art, history, the beauty of the Spanish language, and the food (especially tamales)!

Nancye: I would like to visit Guatemala to see the country where my nephew was born (& adopted from as a baby).

-Awww :D

Lisa: Hispanic Heritage Month is a great opportunity to share history and culture that otherwise does not get enough time in the spotlight.
2. Performing and visual arts get all tied up in a beautiful, interrelated bundle for me.

Finally, I urge everyone to remember that HHM should be celebrated 365 days of the year (as should Black/Asian/Native American Month). I hope to see more reviews and comments of books with poc all year round, not just during their 'special' month!

PS Do check out my links to contests in my sidebar! There are a few books with Hispanic main characters or important secondary characters being given away. The more entries these contests get, the more contests similar to that particular one will be held. Lots of entires=lots of interest! Let's show bloggers, publishers and authors that we want to see more books with poc!


  1. Thank you for putting all this together. I love your final thoughts, too.

  2. Thanks for setting me straight about Belize! Now I need to re-research the Garifuna, b/c I thought they were Afro-Latinos...

  3. i LOVED reading this post and learning what your readers enjoy about Latino cultures. i know this will sound cliche, but one of the main things i love about being Latina is that most of us are born with a type of rhythm, salsa, and passion that others mistaken as "over-the-top." i've never met a Latina/o who doesn't have strong feelings about something... it's in our DNA to be joyous, regardless of our circumstances (no acting, we just are). even when things around us are crumbling, we are innately funny. i don't know how we do it, but it's ingrained in us as a culture. even Latinos dying in hospitals make jokes... everyone always thinks we are doing great. even poverty-stricken Latinos won't dwell... i think being passionate and funny is a special gift we have that the world doesn't know about because so few Latinos get published.

  4. That is so true. We are a very passionate, dancing people. Although I think all people CAN dance, only Latinos (oh and African Americans) are BORN already knowing how to dance.
    After all, sometimes cliches are cliches for a reason (positive ones only!).
    I loved reading these responses, they made me so happy I needed to share!


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