Hispanic Heritage Month and Destino
Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated each year from September 15 – October 15. All around the country Hispanics and Latinos will gather to celebrate their rich cultural diversity and share it with their community. HHM is a fantastic time of the year for your Destino movement.
Taking the extra effort to participate in community events surrounding HHM can go a long way to helping your Destino movement grow in the future. Your participation in Hispanic Heritage Month (either by attending or putting on events) can help get the community behind Destino. In our movement we’ve been hit or miss over the years at taking full advantage of this time of the year. Here are some of the reasons why I believe it is such a crucial part of the calendar for your movement:
- Hispanic Heritage Month introduces the community to you. By attending some of the events (especially the HHM “kickoffs” that happen at the beginning of the month) you can really get to know people in the Hispanic community at your university. I’ve met great staff from our Department of Multicultural Serviceson campus that are great friends to Destino. They are real allies for our movement on campus.
I’ve also been able to meet Hispanics in the community who desire to see Latinos succeed in college. Because this is a major focus for Destino I’ve been able to involve them in our movement.
- Hispanic Heritage Month can introduce you to the community. Many people on and around our campus have never heard of Destino. They have no idea that we exist. But once they find out our mission is to holistically develop Latino leaders using faith as a foundation, they are very excited. They want to be a part (either by volunteering, attending, or becoming donors) of Destino.
- Hispanic Heritage Month can platform your movement on campus. If you are just starting out and launching a movement, this is a great way to get involved in the campus Latino community. When our movement first launched the other Hispanic student groups were so kind to us and helped us grow. They wanted to see Destino succeed. By attending some of their events during HHM you get to know them and can start building some of those key relationships.
- Hispanic Heritage Month can grow your understanding and appreciation for Hispanic culture. I continue to learn year by year how diverse the Latino community is. There is such a rich heritage to celebrate and to share.
If this is one of your first fall semesters to be working with Destino then it is probably too late for you to have events on the HHM calendar for your campus/community. This fall your main priority will be to attend events and meet people. Get lots of business cards and then go followup those people in their offices to build campus relationships.
The spring semester is when you will want to plan ahead for the upcoming HHM. All the Hispanic organizations on our campus gathered in April to plan HHM. We dropped the ball this year by not being involved in planning. Make sure either you attend or you have a student leader who is involved in the community attend and be a part of the planning meetings. Often the campus community is just begging for people to be a part of it. They’ll be so glad you came and will be invested in helping you see Destino succeed.
Hispanic Heritage Month can be a great part of your Destino Movement each year. It takes forethought and planning for you to participate, but I believe it is worth your time. By investing effort in the Spring you help the community come alongside Destino as they learn about you and help you succeed. That’s more valuable than you know.
photo courtesy: 2nd infantry division