Venice High Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

Cindy Martinez, Reporter

The Venice High community has celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month over the last month in numerous ways—

Hispanic Heritage Month (also referred to as Latinx Heritage Month) is September 15 to October 15. Around campus, the Venice community saw posters that featured noteworthy Hispanic figures, including Dolores Huerta and Jamie Escalante. Late last month, there were even Aztec and Baile Folklorico dancers who performed on the front lawn. 

A big contributor to Latinx culture at Venice is M.E.C.H.A, a club here for Latino students to get involved in the community, fight for their rights, and celebrate their identity. 

The President of M.E.C.H.A., senior Katie Jimenez, said M.E.C.H.A. is an important organization for Hispanic and Latino students.

“It means a lot. Sometimes people think less of you because you’re Hispanic or because generations before you never went to college or have any sort of education,” she said. “To be able to be with others creates an energy to feel proud of ourselves, strive for better things, and make change in the world.”

Over the course of the last month, M.E.C.H.A. put up posters and facilitated an activity that helped students “get in touch with their roots, language and culture-wise,” according to social studies teacher Alejandro Arroyo.

But behind being the president and sponsor for the club, lies a proud Latina student and Chicano teacher.

Unfortunately, like many others within the community, discrimination was something both had experienced, from being judged by looks to even a racist kindergarten teacher. Luckily, they have never given up thanks to the people in their lives that have uplifted them. 

For Jimenez it was her mom, Rebbeca Quintana. Quintana, at a young age of 17, was determined to give her daughter a better life. Years later, her hard work paid off. She attended and graduated this year from UCLA, making sure nothing ever got in her way.

According to Arroyo, his main source of motivation was his family, who had sacrificed so much for him. 

“Students are pushing to make sure at all times that they are respected, heard and not feeling less than on campus,” he said.  

He believes Venice is doing a great job of making sure that not just Latinx students but students of color are heard.