Latino Heritage Month

Selena Quintanilla mural at the Westfield Santa Anita center courtyard

Latino Heritage Month, also called Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month, was celebrated from September 15 – October 15. Americans of Mexican, Salvadoran, Guatemalan, Costa Rican, Spanish descent and more celebrate this occasion by reflecting on the culture and contributions of Latinos in the US. Jazzy Zavala (’22) and her family and celebrated by making delicious tamales, listening to Folklorico music, dancing, and spending quality time together. Jazzy’s family visited Downtown Los Angeles and admired the artwork and murals completed honoring this special time.

Many artists feature the great Chicano civil rights activist and labor leader, Cesar Chavez. Chavez with activist Dolores Huerta formed the union that would later be called the United Farmer Workers. Murals and tributes of Chavez and Huerta are hallmarks of the Latino Heritage Month. Seeing the wonderful works of so many talented local Latino artists gave Jazzy great pride in being Latina American.

Also on display was artwork inspired by Frida Kahlo and Pablo Picasso. Frida’s self portraits reveal a determined woman facing a troubled world. Her painting “On the Borderline Between Mexico and the United States” (1932) juxtaposes the two neighboring nations. On the Mexico side the sun and moon are in the sky, temple ruins and and ancient statues are on the ground along with various flowers. On the American side is a Ford Motors factory clouding the American flag in the sky. Robotic shapes and pipes stretch out to mechanical inventions with wires buried under the soil.

In Hollywood today, Latinos continue to make important movies about issues concerning the Latino community including stories about crossing the border to America for greater opportunities. Among the most accomplished and noteable Latino actors and entertainers are Edward James Olmos, George Lopez, Mario Lopez, Christina Aguilera, America Ferrera, and Selena Gomez. Many of these talented artists honored Latino Heritage month in their own personal way.