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Gonzalo Alers T’18,’24

When we speak of Hispanic Heritage Month, we signify our people: The recognition not only of our cultures (Hispanic and Latino/a heritages are diverse) but of trajectories (individual and collective), of memorable stories, of the transcendence of those silenced in the past. It is a celebration of our diversity and a call for participation in interdisciplinary conversations that span many social locations. It is to make relevant the richness of our people, intellectuality, inventiveness, resources, and diverse talents to the world. Hispanic Heritage Month is about celebrating our accomplishments, sharing our aspirations, contributing to the best for others, and coexisting with dignity. It is our ability to adapt to other contexts, the persistence in our symbols and traditions, the separation from our loved ones, and the struggles against exclusion and marginalization.

Within the academic world, it is the best way to make known our scholars and their contributions to all the different disciplines of knowledge. To present the great intellectual production that proposes new ways of thinking with doors open to inclusion. This proposal includes new paradigms born from our experiences, social contexts and intersectionality with other ways of thinking. Consequently, the importance of this celebration is framed in one word: pride. We live proud of who we are, how we do things, how we live our traditions, our sense of patriotism, the love for our sacred land, our spiritualities, and the brotherhood that unites all Latin American culture. 

The strength of the “Caribe Antillano,” and my love for Puerto Rico run in my blood. Therefore, I cannot uproot it from what I do, say or think. That is my reality. That’s who I am. I am Latino! I’m from the Caribbean! I am Puerto Rican! I don’t have to stop being who I am, much less give up my heritage to become something I am not and never will be. That fills me with pride.

DREW VOICES: HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH

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