Breaking News
More () »

Celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month: Highlighting our diverse Latin and Hispanic communities

From musical styles like bomba to national dishes like pupusas, Sacramento's Latin and Hispanic communities shared what they love most about their cultures.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Which Hispanic or Latin person or place should we highlight for Hispanic Heritage Month? Email ABC10's Race and Culture team, Raceandculture@abc10.com.

A culture that puts family first and a legacy of tenacious leaders - these are some of the responses we got from the Latin* and Hispanic communities in Sacramento when we asked, "What does it mean to be Latin or Hispanic to you?"

This year's theme for National Hispanic Heritage Month, also known as National Latinx Heritage Month, is "Unidos: Inclusivity for a Stronger Nation." The theme reinforces the need to ensure diverse voices and perspectives are welcomed in decision-making processes, thereby helping to build stronger communities and a stronger country, according to the National Council of Hispanic Employment Program Managers. In honor of National Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month, ABC10 highlighted people of Hispanic and Latin American descent.

LUIS BÁEZ, Puerto Rico

Luis Báez is from Puerto Rico and identifies as Latinx. Báez described being Latinx as being part of the future in the economic and political sphere of the U.S. One thing he said he would love for others to know is that there is more to Puerto Rican culture than simply reggaeton -- dive into the music scene and explore bomba and plena, too!

ANA BOLAÑOS, Nicaragua

Ana Bolaños is from Managua, Nicaragua. Bolaños said being a Latina means working harder to position oneself in the community and socio-economically, which is challenging. Bolaños described Nicaragua as a small country that, despite being one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere, it is very rich in culture including its food and natural resources.  


Davis Ramses is from Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Ramses believes warmth is what makes his community special and one of the many reasons he is proud to be Latino. As for what he loves about his country, he immediately dotes over baleadas, a traditional Honduran dish -- and he said pairing it with black coffee is a must!


Patricia Parra is from El Salvador. Being part of a strong lineage of people who are dedicated, hard-working, intellectual, and influential is what being Latina means to Parra. What she loves about El Salvador and her culture is the music — cumbia was the first genre she learned to dance — as well as the tropical landscape and food including pupusas, a popular Salvadoran dish.


David Contto was born and raised in Lima, Peru. He is proud to be bilingual and said speaking Spanish has allowed him to learn about and connect with people from Latin America. Contto paid tribute to his Peruvian background for teaching him the importance of embracing various cultures and people.


Graciela Ascarrunz is from Buenos Aires, Argentina. She is proud to be Hispanic and part of a culture that is family-oriented not only with blood relatives but with people across the Latin community. Ascarrunz wants people to know that Argentinian music is more than just tangos - there are milongas, boleros, and cumbias too!


Zheyla Henriksen has lived in the United States for over 40 years. A writer, researcher and poet, she shares her Ecuadoran culture with her children and grandchildren via her passion for dancing. It's her way of passing on a much loved part of her life to the next generation of her family.


Liliana Ferrer is the Consul General of Mexico, in Sacramento.  She is proud of the people, traditions and culture that shaped her life, as well as the impact they have on everyday life for all Californians.

ANYA WOODS, Belize and Guatemala

Anya Woods is a native of Los Angeles and a stateside Belizean. She identifies as Afro-Hispanic and traces her roots back to both Guatemala and Belize. Her favorite things about Belize include the beautiful lands and oceans, but she said nothing beats the people. Woods loved growing up in a household that brought culture and variety to food and music. Her favorite type of music is punta rock. 


Wendy Aguilar, a media and communications specialist for the Sacramento Fire Department, was born in Guatemala and came to the U.S. when she was 10. Growing up, she looked up to people who were hardworking, humble and family-oriented. Aguilar said she wishes more people would learn about the country of Guatemala. Throughout her life, people often assumed Aguilar was from Mexico. She hopes more people will get to know the foods, traditions and cultures of Guatemala. 

We want to hear from you

Which Hispanic or Latin person or place should we highlight for Hispanic Heritage Month? Email ABC10's Race and Culture team, Raceandculture@abc10.com. 

*ABC10 decided to use the word "Latin" to be gender inclusive of individuals who identify on the gender spectrum. For a brief overview of pronouns and inclusive language, check out UC Davis' LGBTQIA Resource Center's website.

Mexican Independence Day kicks off at the state Capitol in Sacramento

Before You Leave, Check This Out