ABS Celebrates Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month

The American Board of Surgery is proud to celebrate Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month.

The American Board of Surgery is proud to celebrate Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month.

“Learning about the history and significance of different cultural celebrations isn’t an overnight process; it’s an ongoing one,” said ABS Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer Ada Okafor. “Being interested in educating yourself about the contributions made by the Hispanic/Latinx community, and other diverse communities, is an important first step to create a society built on mutual respect and admiration for different races, ethnicities, identities, and more.”

ABS president and CEO, Dr. Jo Buyske, agrees. “We honor and appreciate the significant contributions of our Hispanic/Latinx diplomates and surgeons in practice to the house of surgery and medical community at large,” she said. “We look forward to celebrating this community during this important month.”

What is Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month?

Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month is a national celebration that recognizes the contributions, culture and influence of Americans whose heritage and ancestry can be traced back to Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central, South and Latin America.

When is Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month celebrated?

The month is celebrated annually from September 15 to October 15. It started in 1968 as a one-week celebration called Hispanic Heritage Week, and was later extended to a month-long celebration in 1988.

It starts mid-month, as opposed to the end, because it coincides with the independence day celebrations of several Latin American countries: Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica celebrate theirs on Sept. 15, followed by Mexico on Sept. 16, Chile on Sept. 18 and Belize on Sept. 21. Also, Día de la Raza, or Columbus Day, falls within this 30 day period on October 12.

Is there a difference between Hispanic and Latinx?

Yes. Although Hispanic and Latinx are often used interchangeably, they actually mean two different things.

Hispanic refers to people who speak Spanish and/or are descended from Spanish-speaking countries, while Latinx refers to people who are of Latin American origin and/or descended from Latin American countries. Latinx has gained popularity in recent years as its considered a more inclusive, gender-neutral or non-binary alternative to Latino or Latina.

A person can be both Hispanic and Latinx, but not all Latinx are Hispanic. Brazilians, for example, are Latinx, but their native language is not Spanish, its Portuguese. Conversely, not all Hispanics are Latino/a/x. Spaniards are considered Hispanic, but not Latinx, since they are part of the European Union.

Hispanic countries are: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Spain, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

Latin American countries are: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guadaloupe, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Saint Barthélemy, Saint Martin, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

How to celebrate Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month?

Anyone can honor and show their appreciation for Hispanic and Latinx Americans. Some ways to celebrate this month include going to festivals or conferences, reading books by Hispanic/Latinx authors, watching movies about Hispanic and Latinx culture, and going to local events such as art shows and community gatherings that celebrate the contributions of Hispanic and Latinx people have made to U.S. society.

Sept. 17, 2021 Media Contact: Alyson Maloney

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