Hispanic Heritage Month takes on new meaning, focused on community assistance

Hispanic Heritage Month

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) — This year’s National Hispanic Heritage Month takes on a whole new meaning to focus on helping the community with crucial assistance as the battle to stop the spread of the coronavirus continues.

On Tuesday, Mexico celebrated its Independence Day and in San Jose where 32 percent of the population is Hispanic/Latino — this year the Mexican national holiday was celebrated differently than years prior.

“Unfortunately because of COVID-19 we are not allowed to gather in that way,”  said Jessica Paz Cedillos, Executive Director of the School of Arts and Culture at the Mexican Heritage Plaza.

“Today, Mexican Independence Day we are doing COVID-19 testing from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. every Wednesday.” 

This year’s celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month and Mexican Independence Day takes on a whole new meaning amid a year that has brought an unprecedented amount of changes.

San Jose city leaders acknowledge the contributions the Hispanic/Latino community has made to coronavirus relief efforts by serving as a majority of the nation’s essential front-line workers — risking their lives often without a choice. 

“I think many years ago when we talk about Hispanic Heritage Month it really was a celebration of culture and I think this year it’s more of a raising an awareness and consciousness about our place in the U.S.,” said Zulma Maciel, DIrector of the Office of Immigrant Affairs for the city of San Jose. 

“But it’s also important for us to be intentional about the preservation of our language for our culture and traditions.”

To learn more about KRON4’s National Hispanic Heritage Month coverage, click here.

Learn about the 16 significant parts of Mexican culture here!

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