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Hispanic Heritage Month: Recognizing the Hispanic Community at CHS

Hispanic+Heritage+Month%3A+Recognizing+the+Hispanic+Community+at+CHS
Arianna Santiago

Starting Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated all across the U.S. Each year, Hispanics, Latinos, and many others gather to celebrate the history, cultures, and “contributions of American Citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and South America.” This tradition started in 1968 by President Lyndon Johnson but lasted for only a week. It was later elongated to a 30-day period dedicated to Hispanics by President Ronald Reagan in 1988. 

Here at Castaic High School, multiple clubs aim to connect to the Hispanic community on campus. They aim to form a strong bond between students and their origins and honor the legacies of Hispanic-American leaders. 

A new club, started just this year, is the EL/Newcomers Club. Marthina Polo is the president of the club, accompanied by their Vice President, Jennifer Lopez. Their goal as a club is to create an environment where English learners and immigrants have people they can trust. 

“We have similar experiences…We are/were learning a new language,” explains Polo. “We want our members to have fun at the same time… and of course, we could try and help them with [their] struggles if we can.”

Anyone interested in the club is allowed to join. The EL/Newcomers Club board members are in the process of planning exciting events that will help support their cause. Their first meeting was on Oct. 4 in room 524. Members got to play a fun game of bingo as an icebreaker and to get to know their fellow peers. Everyone got sweet treats and concluded a very successful first meeting with the EL/Newcomers Club.

“A lot of people don’t know what ELs or Newcomers [are], [and] that needs to be changed,” states Polo.

Another club that arose this year is the Spanish Honor Society. The club focuses on spreading Hispanic culture around CHS and introducing it to those unfamiliar with it.

“I want to spread not only Mexican culture, which is already popular, but the culture of other Hispanic countries that aren’t as well known,” explains the President of the club, Enya Membrillo.

This club creates a safe and welcoming place for those who share similar cultures and want to expand their knowledge of Hispanic culture. Anyone is welcome to join this club, with no requirements necessary. Their most recent meeting was held on Sept. 28, in room 608, during lunch. They talked about Hispanic Heritage Month and decorated small paper flags that were later stuck onto the window.

Lastly, the Latinx Culture Appreciation Club has been on campus for the past four years and was founded by senior Fernanda Matias. Their club aims to teach, discuss, and commemorate Latin American culture. 

“I chose to start this club because I wanted the school to have a place where students could gain a greater understanding of such a prominent ethnicity in our community,” states Matias.

They host many different events, from informative to potluck meetings.

“We’ve had guests come in such as a student from NYU talk about Latino representation in the media and a salsa instructor,” explains Matias.

In their most recent meeting, Matias and the members discussed the controversy surrounding the word “Latinx.”

“Some were indifferent to the word, [and] some liked it and appreciated it as a symbol of inclusivity,” shares Matias. “Some saw it as something that not only didn’t make sense linguistically, but also as something that erased Latino culture and anglicized the word ‘Latino.'”

It was an excellent opportunity for students to share their opinions in a safe place without fear of judgment.

These clubs are great ways for students to learn about their culture, explore different cultures they are not familiar with, and create strong bonds with their peers. Although Hispanic Heritage Month is coming to a close, these clubs ensure the Latino community remains celebrated and recognized year round. 

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About the Contributor
Jocelyn Rodriguez
Jocelyn Rodriguez, Editor of Entertainment
Jocelyn Rodriguez is the Editor of Entertainment for Castaic High School’s school newspaper, The Daily Howl. This year is her second year being a part of the journalism team, and she deeply enjoys being able to write alongside her peers. She has found a passion for Journalism and hopes to study it further. Her goal for this year is to be able to write articles that appeal to the student body and her community. Jocelyn likes to read, listen to music, and re-watch comfort films during her free time.
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