Hispanic Heritage Month questions, answers

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Joe Hernandez
  • Comittee
In today's society, Hispanics, Latinos and Chicanos are defined as people from Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, South or Central American and other Spanish speaking cultures.

The term "Hispanics" was in fact created by the U.S. Federal Government in the early 1970s to refer to those born in a Spanish-speaking nation or with ancestry to Spanish territories. Chicanos are considered people who are born in the United States, but also who are direct descendants of Mexican-born parents. The people of the Hispanic Community are a vibrant, social and extremely fun-loving people who enjoying nothing more than to celebrate everything they can to the highest level possible.

Of all the people I interviewed, there was one in particular that really had a direct opinion and thought-out mindset about how being Hispanic influenced his Air Force career - Tech. Sgt. Anthony Higuera, 412th Maintenance Group F-16 Weapons Standardization.

"Definitely being Chicano growing up influenced me a lot in my military career. A lot of the values like family values, sticking together, loyalty and stuff of that nature. Being Chicano, you have pride in what you do," said Higuera. "Another aspect of being Chicano is hard work, never letting someone out do you. Taking those things with me in to my career has helped me excel and kept me focused and encouraged pride in myself."

I interviewed a few individuals throughout the weapons community, asking a few questions in relation to the Heritage being observed. Here are the questions and general results:

Q: How would you identify yourself? Hispanic, Latino or Chicano? Why?
A: Out of the 12 people I interviewed, 10 answered Hispanic simply because it was the easiest recognition. The other two specifically stated Chicano because they felt it was a more direct identification to those with Mexican-born parents.

Q: Have you come across individuals from other Latin countries?
A: There were a lot of people who mainly said Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic.

Q: Are you knowledgeable of the different holidays celebrated in yours and other Latin countries?
A: All those who were Mexican knew all the holidays asked right away. The others took them a while or didn't know at all. Specifically, their heritage's Independence Day.

Q: Do you think that the base population should take more pride in the observances that are celebrated on base?
A: This question was a tricky one for most because different cultures celebrate on different holidays, but all agree that there should be pride where pride is due.