Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month: A Journey of Identity & Pride


As the heat decreases and the air turns a bit more crisp, I can’t help but feel a sense of warmth and nostalgia. It is that time of year again–Hispanic Heritage Month. For me, this month is not just a chance to celebrate my heritage, it is a profound journey of self-discovery and a reminder of the rich tapestry that makes up my identity as a proud Latina who was born and raised in El Paso, Texas.

Growing up in El Paso, which practically straddles the United States and Mexican Border, I was immersed in a vibrant blend of cultures that shaped my life in ways that I couldn’t fully comprehend until I grew older. The border city’s unique character, where Spanglish seamlessly weaves into everyday conversations, where the aroma of tortillas and frijoles linger in the air, and where the songs of Vicente Fernandez carry on in the wind, instilled in me a deep appreciation for my Hispanic roots.

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month: A Journey of Identity & PrideFor me, Hispanic Heritage Month is not just a calendar event. It’s a journey back to the family gatherings where we’d celebrate with abuela’s tamales and menudo.

It’s a trip down memory lane, revisiting the traditions that have been passed down through generations. And it’s a chance to honor the sacrifices and hard work of my ancestors who paved the way for my generation to thrive!

As I reflect on my heritage, I can’t help but think of the resilience and strength of the Hispanic community, both in El Paso and across the nation. We’ve faced adversity, discrimination, and challenges that have tested our spirit. Yet, like the sturdy mesquite trees that dot our desert landscape, we stand tall and unwavering.

» » » » » » »  RELATED READ: 10 Reasons Why El Paso Is a Great Place to Raise Kids  « « « « « « «

Hispanic Heritage Month reminds us to celebrate our accomplishments, our contributions to society, and our unique cultural expressions. It’s a time to spotlight artists (like Frida Khalo, Diego Rivera, and David Alfaro Siquieros), the writers (like Octavio Paz, Sandra Cisneros, and Jose Antonio Burciaga), the musicians (like Pedro Infante, Vicente Fernandez, and Pepe Aguilar), and the leaders who have left an indelible mark on the world. It’s an opportunity to share our stories, to educate our children about our history, and to dispel misconceptions about our culture.

It is also a time for introspection. As I navigate the complex dance between my American and Hispanic identities, I have come to realize that being a Latina is not just about the language I speak or the food that I eat.

It is also about embracing the values of family, community, resilience, and pride. It is about cherishing the diversity within our Hispanic community, about recognizing that our heritage is as multifaceted as the colors on a pinata.

This month is a call to action. A reminder that our heritage is not confined to a specific time frame, but is woven into the fabric of our daily lives. It is about acknowledging the challenges we still face and working on them together to create a better future for all Latino individuals.

In El Paso, the spirit of Hispanic Heritage Month is palpable.

From the bright colors painted on homes that make our streets look vibrant, to the holidays that pack every family member at abuela’s home. It is a time when our community comes together to honor our shared heritage, to dance to the rhythm of our culture, and to savor the flavors that remind us of home and familia.

As Hispanic Heritage Month unfolds, I am filled with gratitude for the rich tapestry of my heritage and the city that nurtured it. I am thankful for the strong lessons learned from my abuelas, for the resilience I’ve inherited, and for the opportunity to carry forward the legacy of those who came before me.

So, here’s to Hispanic Heritage Month, a time of celebration, reflection, and unity. Let’s embrace our roots, share our stories, and work toward a future where our heritage is not just celebrated for a month, but honored every day.

Together we can continue to enrich the cultural mosaic that makes this city so beautifully diverse. ¡Viva nuestra herencia hispana!

The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of El Paso Mom, its executive team, other contributors to the site, its sponsors or partners, or any organizations the aforementioned might be affiliated with.

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Melissa is a loving mother of three who is married to a Marine turned educator. Her children range in all stages of life; a teenager, a pre-teen, and a preschooler. She also has 4 adult stepchildren, making them a family of 9! Prior to her career in real estate, Melissa worked in the healthcare industry for over 10 years. However, in 2019, she decided to prioritize her family and quit her job. In the midst of the pandemic, she began a new career in real estate, which has allowed her to be present with her family. Melissa is a woman of faith who is passionate about serving her community and empowering other women. She believes that every woman has the potential to achieve their goals and overcome the guilt that comes with being a mom. Melissa's ultimate goal is to become a life coach and serve as an inspiration to other moms who want to balance their careers and family while pursuing their passions and reaching their full potential.


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