Hispanic Heritage month is a period from September 15 to October 15 in the United States for recognizing the contributions and influence of Hispanic Americans to the history, culture, and achievements of the United States. As a community, we all come together to celebrate what the Hispanic people before us were able to accomplish for this country. There are many ways to celebrate the culture, like dining the Hispanic way, listening to their music, and acknowledging the many traditions. Here at Apopka, we are lucky to have people around our campus come together and help us get involved in the Hispanic culture.
“Spanish National Honors Society is a school organization focused on academic excellence, leadership, and community service, highlighting the Hispanic culture and the Spanish language,” said Ms. Benítez, the SNHS Sponsor and Spanish teacher at Apopka High. Ms. Benitez works hard so our school is always involved in spanish traditions. When asked what it feels like to be one of the people that helps bring hispanic culture to our school, she said that she is very proud and happy to help her students show off the Hispanic culture to the school. “We participate in many school activities, celebrate Hispanic Heritage Week, and enjoy helping people with community service.” Because of COVID-19, there have been some challenges for SNHS. Apopka High has strict rules on keeping each other safe, and they are respectfully following them. “The major challenge is the social distance. Hispanics are warm people. We enjoy having time together, and now we can’t.” Being the sponsor and the person in charge of any club or organization is tricky, but for Ms. Benitez, she says she will never regret being a part of SNHS. “I really enjoy everything I am doing as a Spanish National Honors Society Sponsor.”
The people involved in SNHS really enjoy the things they do, such as helping others. “I love being a part of SNHS because we can share who we are and where we come from. We have so much fun and do many activities to help our community and it’s a great learning process as well!” said Gia Rodriguez, President of SNHS. She says they try to get as many people from the community to participate and show their heritage during Hispanic Heritage week. “We also participate in volunteer events like Relay For Life, and have different volunteer opportunities around the community.” When asked how SNHS helps share Hispanic Heritage around campus, Gia says they do it by using our school as a way to “encourage everyone around us to be proud of where they come from and how it makes us unique!” They enjoy having new members and making people feel included. Gia’s advice to anyone who might want to join SNHS would be to “Get excited! We do so many fun things and activities and we create a family each year as new members come in!”
As time passes, our school and the people within it will always have a way to be involved in the heritage and traditions the different people bring. It is a great way to help us all come together and appreciate each other with no judgement. We are fortunate to have a group of people helping us along the way.