Hispanic Heritage at Oakdale

Shannon Roth, Editor

National Hispanic Heritage Month came to a close. This is the period from September 15 to October 15 in the United States, when the people of the U.S. dedicate a month to recognize the contributions and vital presence of Hispanic and Latino Americans in the country’s history, heritage, and culture. 


This month was established in order to celebrate exactly what it means to be part of the Hispanic community. On a much smaller than the nationwide scale, it’s also celebrated at Oakdale. Oakdale participates in this celebration by hanging flags, making announcements, and giving overall recognition to the Hispanic and Latino student body. 


Nationwide, this is often a time for celebration and speeches to educate as well as commemorate the month. Although this is celebrated more widely across the country, this month is of a large importance to the blended Hispanic cultures that can be found within Oakdale. 


The flags of various Hispanic countries can be seen hanging along the walls of the school. The flags are labeled with their country’s name, as well as a small banner that reads “National Hispanic Heritage Month”, therefore sharing the celebration with anybody who may not have known. 


The Spanish teachers of Oakdale are always the most active of the bunch when it comes to the celebrations of this Heritage month. One of the school’s Spanish teachers, Senora Elizabeth Mulcahy, has always found the acknowledgement of this month very important in her classes.  “I feel as if it’s incredibly important to really focus on the cultural aspect when teaching any language, especially this one. Because without culture, there’s no language, everything is connected. ” 


Karina Turner, a Junior at Oakdale, has a blend of different cultures in her family. One of which is Puerto Rican, on her mother’s side. Puerto Rican heritage falls under the umbrella of Hispanic heritage, and she celebrates this month proudly with her family. 


“It’s made me closer to my family then I’d say it does for most other people. I feel like within hispanic heritage, it’s all centered around family, food and parties that are also with your family. I definitely feel like my family and I are closer than most due to how rich my families heritage is.” Karina Turner, on her family’s heritage. 


Others in the Oakdale community, like Karina, are deeply in touch with their culture and would never miss a chance to celebrate it. With Hispanic Heritage month now at a close, Oakdale may take down the posters and stop their announcements, but the sense of representation of Hispanic and Latino heritage in this school community will stay strong.