Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month is important in continuing to create spaces where employees feel seen, heard, and have a sense of belonging. During this time, we reflect on the contributions of the Hispanic and Latinx(e) Communities. There are so many ways to celebrate such a diverse community, but before planning out what that looks like in your workplace, it is important to understand why Hispanic Heritage Month is so important to the community.

The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week but was later expanded to Hispanic Heritage Month in 1988 to cover the 30-day period from September 15th – October 15th. The starting date of September 15th is significant as it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Mexico, Chile, and Belize all celebrate their independence throughout Hispanic Heritage Month as well. Hispanic Heritage Month serves as a reminder and a celebration of the strength we draw as a nation from our immigrant roots. Recently, the White House released a proclamation celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month.

Here are some ways you can celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month 2022 in your workplace.

  1. Office Potluck – Hosting an office potluck featuring food from Hispanic backgrounds is a great way to learn about different Hispanic cultures. Food is such a point of pride within the community, and there are so many different traditional dishes from Mexican Chilaquiles, to Puerto Rican Arroz Con Gandules, to Columbian Arepas. Have employees bring in their favorite traditional dish and explain why it’s a food they love from their culture.
  2. Host a Cooking Class – This goes hand in hand with the last theme, but again, food is a great way to learn about and connect with the Hispanic community. Invite a Latinx(e) chef to host a cooking class for a traditional dish. This is also a great option for any remote workplace.
  3. Host a Dance Class – Music and dance is another major component of the Hispanic and Latinx(e) communities’ culture. Hire a Latinx(e) dancer to teach a Salsa, Meringue, or Bachata class in the office. This is a great team-building activity and can become a fun friendly competition if you give out rewards to whoever has the best moves.
  4. Nonprofit Partnership – One of the most meaningful ways to support the Latinx(e) and Hispanic communities during Hispanic Heritage Month is to partner with a non-profit organization through volunteer work or a fiscal donation. Consider an employee match program if you decide to donate to an organization. Some of my favorites include United We Dream, Voto Latino and Latino Equality Alliance.
  5. Lunch and Learns – Plan a special Hispanic Heritage Month lunch and learn to educate staff more about the Latinx community, host a trivia game night, or host multiple lunch and learns throughout the month to teach Spanish lessons.

I hope these ideas give you a starting place to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month in your workplace. While planning your activities for the month, it is important to remember the following:

Celebrate the Diversity – There are over 20 countries within Latin America with many different cultures. There is not one universal Latinx(e) experience, and it is important to recognize this.

Ditch Stereotypes – There is more to Hispanic Heritage Month than just Mexico, and there is more to Mexico than pinatas and sombreros. It’s important that we use this time to learn more about different cultures within the Latinx(e) and Hispanic communities and don’t rely on harmful tropes and stereotypes.

Continue the Celebration – Hispanic Heritage Month may only be 30 days long, but your Hispanic and Latinx(e) employees should feel supported all year long. Make sure you continue to empower your employees from this community beyond this month and utilize this month to learn more about the community.

Foster an Inclusive Workplace – Make sure that your employees who are not from these communities know that the events being held are for all! Encourage all employees to participate in your events so they can also continue to learn about these beautifully diverse cultures.

 


Eisen Pacheco
Eisen Pacheco

Eisen serves as a Recruiter of Enterprise Accounts on the Atrium Works team and is champion of diversity and inclusion.