Esperanza - Celebrate Latinx Heritage Month 2021
Last updated: October 8, 2021, at 1:34 p.m. PT
Originally published: September 15, 2021, at 8:32 a.m. PT
For over 50 years, our nation has honored the contributions and histories of Latinx and Hispanic peoples. Today, Latinx and Hispanic Americans are the nation’s second-fastest-growing racial or ethnic group, with over 60 million diverse lives, histories, and families from across Latin America, the Caribbean and Spain.
At the Y, we have several weekly events planned for Latinx Heritage Month (September 15 - October 15), to both engage our existing members and introduce ourselves to new neighbors. During the month, and throughout the year, we seek opportunities for connection and pause to honor, celebrate, and learn about Latinx culture and heritage.
The theme of this year’s events is “Esperanza: A Celebration of Hispanic Heritage and Hope.”
This theme invites us to celebrate Latinx and Hispanic Heritage and to reflect on the great challenges endured and overcome this past year, and resilience and hope for our collective tomorrow.
As we consider the theme of Esperanza, we acknowledge the challenges of the past year, and acknowledge the disparate impact of the pandemic on Washington’s Latinx and Hispanic population who endured higher rate of COVID-19 transmission and lower rates of vaccination.
From the onset, the Y committed to help bring vaccines to minority and marginalized community, and we learned that more was needed than just improving access. Due to historical inequities and systemic racism that have plagued these communities, there is a lack of trust in healthcare system and government. To help build trust and meet people where they are, the Y hired a Latinx community navigator.
Our navigator hit the ground running, opening doors, visiting Latinx local grass roots community organizations, engaging in hard conversations and working to build bridges with health care providers and public health workers.
The Y also hosted vaccine drives and health fairs, such as the Latinx Health Fair at our Kent YMCA to support vaccine distribution efforts to our Latinx neighbors.
For Spanish speaking neighbors who have questions about receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, use these Spanish resources.
Para los vecinos de habla hispana que tengan preguntas sobre la vacuna contra el COVID-19, use estos recursos en español.
Expert research and data analyses confirm that COVID-19 vaccines save lives and reduce rates of death, thus preventing further trauma and devastation in our communities. With the rampant rise of the Delta variant, we have also seen an increase in children getting infected, being hospitalized, and in some cases, dying. We are all in this together and only together can beat this virus, recover, and find our next normal.
Join us for a slew of programing planned for Latinx Month, led by the Y’s Equity and Justice Center of Excellence, each week we will have events in celebration of Esperanza.
Sept 16, 1pm: Youth in Action: Environmental Justice in Latin America (Register here)
Sept 17, 2pm: Street tacos cooking class with Katrina (Register here)
Canceled due to weather, new date coming soon -
Sept 18, 10am-1pm: Bellevue Y Community Connections Fair (at Crossroads Park)
Ongoing: Share Y Global Engagement boxes (Register here)
Sept 20, 7pm: Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Fair (Register here)
Sept 29, 6-7:30pm: Join us for the A.K. Guy Award Event and celebrate volunteerism and community with the Y
Sept 30, 5-6:30pm: USCIS Naturalization Information Session (in Spanish) (Register here)
October 15, all day: Dia de los Muertos
October 15, 9am-5pm: Hispanicize #UnidosTogether (Register here)