Hispanic heritage month events pay tribute on all three campuses


Christopher Rodriguez

Mariachi band Calmecal plays traditional mariachi music in the student center to kick off Hispanic Heritage Month (HHM).

The traditional sounds of the mariachi kicked off the opening day ceremony of National Hispanic Heritage Month Sept. 16 at San Jacinto College Central Campus.


The annual celebration runs until Oct. 16 on all three San Jac campuses, and is packed full of events meant to be both festive and informative.  The month-long celebration culminates in a closing ceremony featuring food and music on Central campus.


Dina Castillo, professor and head of the social science department, said the National Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated between Sept. and Oct. because several Latin American countries won their independence from Spain during those months.


The colleges’ Hispanic student population is around forty-one percent, and campus events introduce them to new opportunities, Castillo said.


“The event like the STEM discussion lets students who are interested in these kinds of subjects to realize that they can achieve those career fields like being doctors, scientist, and they shouldn’t let anything stand in their way of achieving that sensational experience,” she said.

According to Castillo, San Jac is giving the college community a chance to learn about the contributions of other cultures.

“Everyone as a whole can benefit,” she said, “Events like these give us that opportunity as a learning institution to go in depth, and teach our students the importance of the cultures and what they bring to the United States,” she said.


Student Blanca Saldana said celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month at San Jac gave her an opportunity to commemorate her culture’s history and future goals.


“The way we are raised and with our principles, no matter where we are or where we go; we keep our culture… live it and we respect other cultures,” Saldana said.


Nora Gonzales, also a student at San Jac, felt proud about the celebrations taking place at the campuses.


Gonzales said, “The College allows us to celebrate a culture together in one same place, and that is something to be proud of.”