PHS Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month


Photo by: Francisco Castaneda

Senior Jourdain Granere makes a Guatemalan worry doll.

Story by Sarah Alcantar

September 15th commences the celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month which runs until October 15th. National Hispanic Heritage Month recognizes the histories and cultures of Hispanic Americans and their families.

At Pittsburg High School, Hispanic Heritage Month has been recently celebrated by a collaboration between Spanish Club, Book Club, and Culinary Club. 

“I noticed that we haven’t really had anything for Hispanic Heritage Month at PHS and I thought ‘why don’t we have something like that here’,” Book Club sponsor Emily Rountree said. “So I asked Spanish and Culinary Club to collaborate.”

As of 2020, in Pittsburg Kansas, there are 1,900 Hispanics making up roughly 10 percent of the Pittsburg population. At PHS, there is a population of 170 Hispanic students out of 959 students. 

“In Pittsburg, we have a growing Hispanic community and it feels like the Hispanic community is completely separate from native English speakers,” Rountree said. “I think it is really important to understand more about Hispanic culture so we can bridge those two communities and learn about each other.”

The joint club celebration included Hispanic food, Latin dancing sessions, book tasting of novels with Hispanic authors or characters, and bracelet and Guatemalan worry doll making.

“People were interacting, laughing, and speaking to people they don’t get a chance to talk to at school,” Spanish Club Sponsor and teacher Angela Pallares said. “I think everyone learned some Latin dance moves, definitely learned about different cuisine from all throughout the Spanish speaking world, the students that did the book readings learned about interesting cultures there, and the craft station people were physically learning how to make [bracelets and worry dolls].”

The celebration was seen as a success and the clubs are willing to keep this tradition alive throughout the coming years. 

¨[Hopefully this will become] a yearly event,¨ Pallares said. ¨Hispanic people are a huge part of our world and country, and making their heritage something people are proud of and get to celebrate instead of wanting to forget that side of culture is super important. [We wanted] to get students more curious and intrigued about Hispanic culture, and allow them to be more motivated and want to learn the language.¨

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