Chloe is a senior and assistant editor of the Sports and Entertainment section. This is her second year on the Gazette staff.
October 29, 2021
“I am one hundred percent Mexican,” Brianna Valdovinos-Morales, a senior at GBHS, said.
Growing up in a predominantly white area, Valdovinos-Morales emphasized the lack of awareness and recognition which surrounded Hispanic Heritage Month.
“To be honest, I haven’t even noticed there was even a month for Hispanics,” Valdovinos-Morales said. “It was never brought to my attention all throughout elementary school and middle school that we had a whole month to celebrate ourselves. Even in knowing in high school, I feel like there hasn’t been a lot of awareness.”
On campus Valdovinos-Morales focused on the minimal acknowledgment and further lack of action.
“I’ve seen a few posters and it was mentioned on the Granite Bay Today bulletin, but besides that, it’s mentioned and then never brought up again,” Valdovinos-Morales said.
With the lack of celebration, Valdovinos-Morales gestures towards the value of community.
“I’m welcome (at school) but I definitely do have friends who came here and were racially excluded. I had a friend who was going to graduate from here, but then she was bullied here for her race and ethnicity, so she left,” Valdovinos-Morales said. “It really depends on the people you surround yourself with, and I’ve been very thankful to surround myself with lovely people. I don’t have experience (with racially motivated bullying). But I know some other people aren’t as fortunate.”
Finding a sense of community can aid the seclusion which may accompany attending a school as a minority Valdovinos-Morales explains.
“Even with a small Hispanic community, there are still people you can connect to,” Valdovinos-Morales said. “Having friends here that understand your viewpoint helps you to feel more welcomed and understood.”
When asked about the personal meaning of Hispanic Heritage Month, Valdovinos-Morales reflected upon past influential figures.
“(Hispanic Heritage Month) definitely makes me think about my ancestors,” Valdovinos-Morales said. “It also relates directly to big Hispanic or Latinx kind of powerful leaders and the things that they’ve done for us to make our journey and our nation better.”
In celebration, Valdovinos-Morales attended a Latin food and music festival hosted by the Sacramento Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
“Downtown, I went to an event where it was embracing Mexican music cultures,” Valdovinos-Morales said. “I just tried different Mexican foods kind of like a carnival.”
On a daily basis, Valdovinos-Morales finds ways to personally connect with her heritage.
“I come from a Mexican household. With my parents who don’t really know or speak English, I feel like I always celebrate my culture every day with them,” Valdovinos-Morales said. “I enjoy home-cooked food a lot and embrace stuff like Mexican traditions.”
Hispanic Heritage month’s sentiment of recognition and appreciation carries on into Valdovinos-Morales’ day beyond the span of Hispanic Heritage Month.