When is the right time to observe and celebrate our country’s Hispanic heritage? The United States as a country and Texas as a state have notable Hispanic ancestry, and we take pride in this by recognizing our Hispanic heritage from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15. But at the University of Texas at El Paso, every month is Hispanic Heritage Month!
There’s no denying our country’s cultural links to not only our neighbors in Mexico, but also to Central America, South America and Europe. Did you know that today, the U.S. is home to more Spanish-speakers than Spain? What’s more, the U.S. Census Office predicts that the U.S. will have an estimated 138 million Spanish-speakers by 2050, making it the biggest Spanish-speaking nation on the planet.
Teachers from across the country attended a two-week summer institute at UTEP learning about the role of Mexican populations in shaping the Binational American experience. Last July, several of these teachers visited the El Paso/Juarez area, led by UTEP faculty members Ignacio Martínez, Ph.D. and Joseph Rodríguez, Ph.D., and studied the culture of the Chihuahuan desert people as part of an annual Summer Institute program for secondary school educators looking to incorporate this important (and often neglected) part of American history into their lesson plans.
“I live in New York, so obviously far from the U.S.-Mexico border,” said one teacher. “When I talk to my students about immigration, it’s not really looking at the Southwest and the border. It’s a different experience.”
El Corrído del Segundo by Jesús “Címí” Alvarado
October and November programs sure to enhance your desire to learn more about our Hispanic heritage include:
In 2004, the Computing Alliance of Hispanic-Serving Institutions (CAHSI) was formed to increase the number of Hispanic students pursuing science, engineering and cybersecurity professions. CAHSI was one of many programs composing UTEP President Diana Natalicio’s mission to take UTEP from a “regional” university to a national site for advancing Latino education and opportunities. Natalicio was named among “Time” magazine’s Most Influential People 2016, a richly deserved honor that she credits to UTEP faculty’s creativity and courage.
Image by Ernesto Martinez, Chicano Studies Artist-in-Residence
For students and professionals who want to learn more about the history and presence of U.S. people with Mexican origins, UTEP Connect offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Chicano Studies program. Learning about the historical, socioeconomic and cultural presence of the largest ethnic minority group in the U.S. can complement many public- and private-sector professional areas, including social work, health care, and criminal justice.
To learn more about the Chicano Studies program, call 915-747-5000 or apply online today. What you do to help yourself and others understand Hispanic contributions to our society can be your legacy for future generations.
*Blog is best viewed using Chrome or Firefox browsers*