For years, Latinos have made many contributions to our daily lives as well with ideals. From technological advances to artistic styles, centuries of Hispanic culture have been engraved in history just like other unique societies. From September 15 to October 15, we celebrate the Latinos who inspire us to be proud of where we come from and appreciate our roots.
Artists who were pioneers in the early stages of rock and roll among the Hispanic Americans were Ritchie Valens, who recorded many hits, most notably “La Bamba” and the iconic rock and roll song “Why Do Fools Fall in Love” written by Herman Santiago. Holiday/Christmas songs that are heard throughout the season are “¿Dónde Está Santa Claus?” is a Christmas song with 12-year-old Augie Ríos, was a hit in 1959 which featured the Mark Jeffrey Orchestra alongside “Feliz Navidad” by José Feliciano. Another notable figure is Miguel del Aguila, in over the span of his career wrote 116 works and has three Latin Grammy nominations.
American literature has also been impacted heavily with Hispanic influence, “Tales of Alhambra” by Washington Irving and the works of O. Henry have captivated readers with the stories of the Cisco Kid and Zorro. Dominican American, Julia Alvarez is known for including her own childhood memories in the Dominican Republic in her writings, the novels being How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents (1991), In the Time of the Butterflies (1994) and Before We Were Free (2003). Amongst these writers is the acclaimed Gary Soto who uses fiction and narrative poems in his literary works, such as Baseball in April and Other Stories (1990) and the novel Taking Sides (1991).
With much vigor and determination, most of these notable figures, men and women, both have proved to society that one of the traits of being Hispanics is their willingness to mix with others and,creating new relationships. Because of this experience, they can help find solutions to the barriers, prejudices and stereotypes that have divided us as a nation along racial and ethnic lines.