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Being Latinx at USF

Every year from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 we celebrate, recognize and honor the contributions, culture and history of Hispanic and Latinx Americans. During this special month, we hold various events, activities and educational programs that showcase the different cultural traditions, art, music and food contributions from different Latin countries.

What does it mean to be Latinx? For one, you must have some sort of cultural connection to Latin America or a Latin American heritage. Embracing your Latinx culture is what gives us traditions that have been passed down for generations and helps us better understand who we are as individuals.

What about the hardships we’ve had to overcome? Well, life isn’t always easy, but when you live in a country that likes to mention race and ethnicity for almost everything, it can get more difficult.

Staff Writer Anahi Rodriguez mentions that one of her struggles to overcome was the language barrier.

“As Spanish is my first language, I have had difficulty forming friendships with peers when I started school in Pre-K,” Rodriguez said. “It was hard to understand my classmates and I felt like an outsider watching everyone having fun together.”

Staff Writer Elvia Cardenas overcame a different kind of barrier.

“As a little girl I was told that I could not be as rough as the boys because I had to be a ‘dama,’ but as it turns out I just had to find the perfect balance of my girly side and my boy side,” Cardenas said.

Whether it’s trying to fit in the stereotypical gender norms or overcoming a language barrier, being Latinx can be a hardship. These barriers take time to eclipse, especially if you’re like me: a first-generation Mexican-American who is too Mexican in the U.S, but too American in Mexico. Finding that middle ground is always hard, but that’s what your community is for.

Trust me. you’re not the only one.

So, let’s celebrate both the good times and hardships this month.

USF student Cindy Gonzalez believes, “it’s important to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month because not only do we get to share our beautiful culture with other people, we embrace what makes us who we are.”

If you’re Hispanic/Latinx, invite your friends. It doesn't matter what race or ethnicity they are if they want to celebrate with you, bring them along. Let’s show off and embrace our culture, recognize our achievements and our history.

Feliz Mes de la Herencia Hispañia y Latinos!

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