by Rev. Claudia Olmos
The history of this annual celebration began in 1968 with the approval of Public Law 90-498. Then President Lyndon Johnson dictated that the week of September 15 or 16 of each year would be celebrated as Hispanic Heritage Week to recognize the culture, history, and traditions of the Latino community. On August 17, 1988, Congress passed Public Law 100-402, which repealed the
previous one, proclaiming that Hispanic Heritage Month would be celebrated from September 15 to October 15, and since then every year all presidents have proclaimed this celebration throughout the country, to recognize the history, traditions and contribution to American society and culture of the Hispanic communities, as well as their important presence in the population of the country today.
Hispanics have contributed to the success of this nation in extraordinary ways – we have served in the military and government. Our influences are seen in music, food, sports, science, business, the arts, and more contributions that have helped strengthen this country’s economy.
Being Hispanic or Latino can be viewed as a matter of the heritage, nationality group, lineage, or country of birth of the person or of the person’s parents or ancestors prior to their arrival in the United States. People who identify their origin as Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish can be of any race.
Today we honor our culture and all our ancestors who gave rise to the Hispanic culture that continues to leave a legacy in this country. In doing so, we proudly honor, recognize, and integrate our Native American, European, and African ancestors. The integration of all these parts of our diversity helps us to be integral expressions of our human and divine beings.
This could be a metaphor for everyone. By acknowledging all parts of ourselves and our ancestors, we understand that we belong to each other, that everything is perfect—as in a puzzle, and that everyone is part of the unity which we are committed to be. Diversity enriches us and makes us strong. We give thanks to this country and to the Unity community, so that together we say,
“Long live Hispanic heritage! Long live family! And long live diversity!”
“It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those
differences.” Audre Lorde
Rev. Claudia Olmos started as a UUMS student. She is completing her ministerial training
through the Field Ministry Program. She was licensed in June of this year and is looking to be
ordained in 2023. Claudia is the Spiritual Leader of the Spanish Ministry at Unity of Houston.
She is a mother of 2 teenager daughters and a freelance graphic designer with her own
business, in Houston, TX. She is currently the graphic artist behind the UUMS newsletter.
She was born in Mexico and immigrated to USA in 1996.