Celebrating Latinx Heritage Month: At Home and Around Houston

One of my favorite books, Mujerista Theology by Ada María Isasi-Díaz, says this: “As a foreigner in an alien land, I have not inherited a garden from my mother but rather a bunch of cuttings. Beautiful but rootless flowering plants—that is my inheritance. Rooting and replanting them requires extra work on the part of the gardener; it requires much believing in myself to make my life flourish…” I think the reason I love it and this quote in particular so much is because it encompasses the Latinx American experience so well. When you’re Latinx American, you fight to keep a part of you alive that is constantly in danger of dying. The more Latinx generations who are born and live here in the states, the harder it becomes to keep our roots alive.

family around dinner tableLatinx Heritage Month takes place in the United States from September 15th to October 15th every year. While it is an opportunity for those who aren’t Latinx to celebrate our cultures, accomplishments, and beauty, it is for me a reminder to keep my ancestors alive in everything I do. It reminds me to tend and keep their gardens alive too, as Isasi-Díaz would say, especially in the way I am raising my son. We use it as a time to learn more about both of his cultures, Mexican and Ecuadorian, while learning new things about the other 31 countries that make up the entirety of Latin America.

Bringing Latin America to Our Home

bowl of soup and chips and dipThere are many ways we celebrate Latinx Heritage Month in our home. A trip to the library in which we look for authentic Latinx stories {not just texts translated from English to Spanish} is one. I am always pleasantly surprised by how well-stocked our public libraries are with cultural stories from different countries. Many are even featured across library branches for this particular month!

Another way is food. It’s always hard to answer the question, “What’s your favorite food?” simply because our gente make the BEST food. From Ecuador’s encebollados and ceviches to Mexico’s chile rellenos and frijoles charros, I simply can’t decide. As someone who grew up in New Jersey around a diverse group of Latinx Americans, I am also partial to Colombian bandera paisas, Cuban ropa vieja, and Dominican mangú. Looking up authentic recipes or checking out Houston’s Latinx-owned restaurants is one way you cannot go wrong celebrating Latinx Heritage Month. Make sure to tip especially well!

Last, but certainly not least, supporting Latinx-owned businesses is a great way to show solidarity. Being that Latinas earn $0.55 for every dollar paid to white men, every dollar that goes into Latinx-owned businesses is so important to our flourishing as a people. Etsy and Instagram make it all too easy to find styles you like and support Latina women. Here are a few of my favorites:

Latinx Heritage Month Celebrations around Houston

woman reading to children Because Houston is 44.5% Hispanic/Latino, we as Houstonians have many Latinx cultures at our fingertips. Here is a list of Latinx Heritage Month celebrations happening around our city this year, which I hope you and your family will check out:

Latinx Heritage celebration dancers

I am so excited to be able to partake in these events around Houston with our son! However you choose to celebrate Latinx Heritage Month, I only ask this: celebrate us all year round. See our brilliance and recognize our talents all year round, not just this month. Our stories are worth being told and being known. I’m proud to say: we are Latinx and we are here to stay!

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Liz Márquez
Liz was born into a big, beautiful, and loud Ecuadorian-American family. For the first nineteen years of her life, they lived in Clifton, New Jersey, until the cold weather got to be too much. While she was not initially a fan of the move to Texas, Liz now adores the city of Houston, so much so that she had the downtown skyline tattooed on her forearm. Houston proudly witnessed her graduate with a degree in Bilingual Education and joyfully watched her become a seasoned classroom teacher. Houston most importantly taught Liz how to two-step and line dance, while reminding her of her deep love for old-school Latin salsa. Houston beamed with excitement when she unexpectedly fell in love with a Pasadena-raised country-lovin’ boy who would become her husband and the father of their little boy. Now, Houston gets a front-row seat to Liz’s unfolding, healing, and becoming through the art of storytelling and poetry. Telling and writing stories was always Liz’s first and greatest love, and coming back to it now for her feels like coming home. Here in Houston, or wherever she and her family end up, she rests easy, knowing they are forever gathered under the wings of the Divine.


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