Hispanic Heritage Month is a time for all Hispanics and Latinos to celebrate their culture, history, and achievements which have impacted the United States throughout the years. In recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month, events were held citywide, including right here at Queens College.
One event which was hosted in New York City wass the Queens Culture Carnival. This carnival took place on September 12, 2021, with an aim of promoting art, music, dance, and great food from Latino culture Vendors in the carnival provided food, music, and art to attendees. The carnival provided Health and Wellness components that included more health screening than in the past. This culture carnival has been held for 15 years in Queens at Junction Boulevard in Corona, Queens NY in the first week of Hispanic Heritage Month. On October 9, the Panamanian Parade took place in Crown Heights in Brooklyn. It began on Bergen St and ended at Franklin Ave to celebrate Panama’s separation from Colombia in November 1903. The parade led to a fair that attracted 30,000 people and featured art, music, and Panamanian, Caribbean, and Latin American dishes.
For their part, Queens College hosted An Evening with Angie Cruz hosted by Paola Pena, a Queens College SEEK Alumni. Angie Cruz is the author of Dominicana, a tale about her mother, Ana Cancion. In the book, Cancion marries a man twice her age who offes to take her to New York City for a better life. There is no love in this marriage, only an opportunity for her family to immigrate to the U.S. This book illustrates the struggles of immigrating to a new country and doing anything for your family to have a better life.
In her panel, Cruz talked about her experiences of being raised in a Hispanic household, acknowledging that many Hispanic parents want their children to have an education and career for themselves, something their parents didn’t have a chance to have. Cruz compared coming to America as a Hispanic to breaking a cycle for the family since one reason people come to America is to see their children becoming successful in the future. Her novel serves as a reminder for the reader that Hispanic families leave everything behind when coming to America, like their families, friends, and childhood. Many Hispanics must face the struggles of being alone in a new country and learning a new language. At times, they may be tempted to throw in the towel, but they don’t for the sake of their family having a better future. Hispanic children hear of what their parents have gone through to be successful in this country, to make their own parents proud, and to show that their struggles were not in vain. Hispanic Heritage Month doesn’t only remember the common culture and history of American Hispanics, but also the struggles that many Hispanic families had to face in this country with their families while trying to adjust to a new country, to see their children becoming successful, to be leading a better life than they would have if they stayed in their home country.