Opinion: Recognizing Hispanic heritage

The Norwalk Board of Education is proud to recognize Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 as Hispanic Heritage Month.

During Hispanic Heritage Month, we recognize the contributions made and the important presence and impact of Hispanic and Latino Americans in our community and nation. Through strong commitment to family, faith and hard work Latinos have enhanced and shaped our national character with centuries-old traditions that reflect the multiethnic and multicultural customs of their community.

Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Puerto Rico, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central and South America, or other Spanish cultures. This year’s national theme is “Hispanic Americans: A History of Serving Our Nation.” The theme invites us to reflect on Hispanic American’s service and impact on the history of our Nation.

The roots of Hispanic Heritage Month go back to 1968. Each year on September 15, the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries is recognized: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Mexico, Chile and Belize also celebrate their independence days during this period. The observation started in 1968 under President Lyndon Johnson as Hispanic Heritage Week, and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period.

The Hispanic population of the United States now totals more than 57.5 million people, the second-largest racial or ethnic group in the U.S. In Norwalk, Spanish language and culture are an integral part of family life. Hispanic students accounted for nearly 50 percent of the Norwalk Public Schools population as of January 2019.

Approximately 87 percent of the 1,946 English Language Learners enrolled in the Norwalk Public Schools program are Spanish speaking.

By declaring this Hispanic Heritage Month, the Board of Education encourages all schools to bring an appreciation and understanding of others’ cultures and languages into the lives of our young children, and share in this annual tribute by celebrating the generations of Hispanic Americans who have positively influenced our city and country.


K Bennett September 22, 2019 at 10:42 am

What a Great Celebration of ones nationality I only wish that those who have made THE CHOICE to live in The United States learned English. Imagine how far they could go if the learned the language of their country OF CHOICE. Their opportunities would equal if not exceed Americans who speak English.

JustATaxPayer September 22, 2019 at 3:59 pm

Love how the Caribbean is included. If you throw out Cuba, there’s one Spanish speaking country.

I was so thankful to see Spanish speaking women with kids collecting for the Bahamas hurricane relief. Let’s celebrate the contribution of legal immigrants. Thanks

Paul Cantor September 22, 2019 at 10:59 pm

“The Norwalk Board of Education is proud to recognize Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 as Hispanic Heritage Month.” And we should be proud of the board for doing so. And proud that we have a sister city relationship with Nagarote, Nicaragua (https://www.sistercityproject.org/). And proud too of Laura Veira-Ramirez, an undocumented immigrant who was the 2016 Brien McMahon valedictorian and is now a junior at Harvard.



The Dominican Republic is a Spanish speaking country.
Together Cuba and the Dominican Republic account for
nearly half the population of the countries referred to as
Caribbean countries.

K Bennett,

The reason students take courses to learn English is to
learn English. And immigrants from Spanish speaking
countries, as immigrants from elsewhere, enrich all of us
with the knowledge and language they bring with them.

JustATaxpayer September 23, 2019 at 9:33 am

Gee Paul, thanks for the education on the Caribbean. I’m so thankful you are leftly supporting illegal immigration. Tell you what, I don’t. Can I send you the portion of my tax bill? It keeps going up and up and maybe you can start a GOFundMe page

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