Hispanic Heritage Month:
Ways to Showcase culture to Your kids

Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated from September 15 to October 15 every year to highlight and raise awareness to the traditions and contributions from Hispanic Americans, Latinos, Latinas and Latinx people to our society. 

As a Hispanic mom raising kids in a mixed family, I love that this month allows me to dig deeper into my own culture and other Hispanic and Latino cultures to educate our kids in all aspects of the diversity within our community.  In my opinion, you do not need to be fluent or fully Hispanic to feel pride in your roots, advocate for your community and learn something new. Even if you have no roots to the Hispanic community besides living in a predominantly Hispanic community like the many areas here in Ventura County, I think it is wonderful to want to learn from others and be educated on ethnicities, traditions and culture. 

Showcase Hispanic and Latino Culture

So, how can you (the parent) showcase Hispanic and Latino culture to your kids? Whether you speak the language, understand the customs or simply have no idea about it all, here are some simple ways in which you can learn alongside your children about Hispanic Heritage Month.

  1. Read more books! Yes, books open the doors to a world of knowledge for both our kids and ourselves! And thanks to places like our local libraries, more Hispanic Kid book authors are in our local shelves waiting to be read. Many books have both English and Spanish writing for translation and many like the “Paletero Man” by Lucky Diaz or “Plátanos Go with Everything” by Lissette Norman are wonderful examples of books that help our kids learn about Hispanic culture. 
  2. Famous Hispanic Figures are a great way to show amazing Hispanic and Latino contributions to our society. What are some Famous Hispanic Figures that you know about? What about Ellen Ochoa who was the first Hispanic Woman in space and whose doctorate in engineering opened doors for her to work at NASA in 1988. She was aboard the Discover in 1993 and had a total of 3 missions with 1,000 hours in orbit. Or what about Sylvia Mendez who worked to desegregate schools in California to allow all ethnicities of children to be enrolled in school. You can use different platforms and search engines to find this information or see the option above to learn from books. Learning through famous Hispanic figures like these our struggles are known and many will understand that many contributions to our country are thanks to a Hispanic person. 
  3. Learn the language. This one can be tricky for some. If you do not know the language, how do you teach it to your kids? Well how about you learning together. Starting from the simplest words to learning the way letters sound differently. Using tools like YouTube, books, using your local community programs to enhance your learning or finding apps that can help you take on the language can be very beneficial.  What if you already know Spanish but need practice? Try meeting other heritage speakers in your area, either through a local mom group, school or work. You can also take a class to practice more. 
  4. Participate in heritage celebrations. Places like Ventura County are full of amazing celebrations that bring culture and tradition to our neighborhoods and cities. Join in on the Annual Multicultural Festival at Plaza Park in Oxnard, Dia de Los Muertos celebration at Oxnard Performing Arts Center or many of the other celebrations happening all over the County during Hispanic Heritage month. From Folkloric dances, traditional food, music and more, this is a great way for your little ones to see what Hispanic and Latino culture offers. 
  5. Cook together! Find quick recipes and tutorial styled videos that can help your whole family understand how Hispanic culture loves and revolves around food. Hispanic families are all about getting together to cook and eat delicious meals and not all of them require a lot of effort. We love comfort food and how cozy it feels for your mom or abuelita to cook a meal that will be remembered. Learn how to make empanadas, arroz con leche, arepas or ceviche…there are so many easy recipes to try with your kids and get them involved. Find a simple recipe from one of the many Countries that make part of Hispanic and Latino culture. Colombia, Argentina, Honduras, Chile, Puerto Rico… many options!

Hispanic Heritage Month

Hope these 5 simple ways to immerse yourself in Hispanic and Latino culture can help you understand our traditions, our struggles and the way our worlds intertwine daily through the melting pot of cultures that is the United States.  I am thankful you are taking the time to allow your kids to learn more about Hispanic Heritage Month and the diversity that surrounds them! 

Sign of hispanic heritage month

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Cascia Smith
Cascia was born and raised in the Arizona heat. While receiving her Pre-Med degree at HIU in California, a blonde, surfing, skateboarding boy stole her heart. In 2004, she married Chuck and had many adventures living in Arizona, California and Colorado. They now call Simi Valley home and have three wild and curious children - Becker (10), Bodie (7) and Lyla (6). She has been blessed to be a teacher, summer camp staff/program director, SAHM and now the owner of Ventura County Mom Collective. Playing guitar, writing songs, and reading any and every parenting book helps keep her sane and happy! A good cup of coffee or a bubbly La Croix can usually be found in her hand! She tries to live by the motto "I'd rather recover from failure than live with regret.


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