This September and October, the Parent Education team at PPLM is celebrating Latinx Heritage Month and Hispanic Heritage Month, and we would love for you to join us! Whether you identify as Latina/o/x, Hispanic, or you have another ethnic identity altogether, there is value in learning more about and reflecting on what these monthly recognitions represent.

There is a Spanish saying: la cultura cura – the culture cures. In other words, healing comes from community. In a time when so many of us are experiencing separation, unable to see each other in person or casually run into each other during our commutes, it is valuable and important to reflect on what holds us together. Some folks might be inclined to scroll past an article celebrating another culture – thinking “That’s not my culture,” perhaps, or “I already know about that.” But this article is not just about what Latinx Heritage Month is – this is a space for us to pause and consider why celebrating diverse identities matters.

First, it is only by sharing our values with others that we can acknowledge and recognize what our own values are. Our values do not exist in a bubble; they cannot exist on their own. We would not recognize what is important to us on our own without something else to compare it to. We also might not be able to see what else is out there, what other options there are, if they were not modeled for us in the world. Here in the Parent Education program at PPLM, we spend a lot of time inviting parents to reflect on their own values. This is something that, at first, can be a challenge. What are values, anyway? (See this article  about what some values might be). Once we start asking specific questions about our workshop participants’ values on specific topics, they are more able to say “Yes,” “No,” or “I’m really not sure and I need to consider this further.”

Second, understanding the values of another culture lets us appreciate how people who hold different identities move through the world. It’s about seeing what else exists. There are no values that are inherently better or worse. Each individual, family, and community can look at their own strengths and build from there to bring health and healing. 

For families with Latina/o/x and/or Hispanic heritage, Latinx Heritage Month and Hispanic Heritage Month are opportunities to celebrate that heritage, and for adults in the family to share with children why their heritage is worth celebrating. If this is your family: share what you love about your history; share what is valuable to you and which aspects of your heritage have shaped who your family is. And if you are not of Latina/o/x and/or Hispanic heritage, it is an excellent opportunity to learn about a different culture. You’ll find teachable moments to share with your children and to find beauty and value in our differences. So many of the parents in our communities want their kids to grow up to be inclusive and welcoming and to make the world a better place. An important step in developing these skills is by learning about diverse experiences and values while celebrating your own.

Finally, consider that you have room to learn as well – and perhaps the young people in your life have room to teach you. Keep the door open to listen to your children; their perspective is often magical. These months are an opportunity to open the door to more conversation, and offer one more step in the direction of being an askable adult, whether it is about culture, health, or sexuality.

Here are some other resources and articles to check out:

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