Latin American Heritage month

Latin American Heritage Month
“UNIDAS” (together in unity), by Mexican Artist Stephany Carrillo.

In October we celebrate Latin American heritage month and the contribution that the Latinx community has made to Canada. It is often difficult to encompass the diverse identities of the Latinx diaspora in one sole definition. Latinx Canadians often bring with them the distinct cultures of their country of origin, while grappling with the colonial connotations of terms such as “Hispanic” “Latino” and “American”. 

New discourse in the region is intensely pushing to reclaim the depth of its marginalized Indigenous and African identity. Many “Latinx” are seeking to remove themselves all together from the labels ascribed to the region since 1492. Currently, there is an ongoing re-emergence of the term “Abya-Yala” (From the Indigenous Kuna language of Panama) as a way to refer to what we know today as “The Americas” in an effort to emphasize that the entire continent – prior to colonization- was a vast network of trading and inter-cultural relationships amongst Indigenous peoples from Patagonia to Alaska. 

 It is important to note that there are also Latinx who are comfortable with the concept of Latinidad, while there are others who, despite having Latinx heritage, may never identify themselves as such but embrace a nation-state sponsored identity. 

The Latin American region is complex as its people are; and thus, defining Latinidad is a current ongoing conversation that often sparks debate and invites to critically address the colonial history of the region.  

To learn more about the Latinx diaspora, their art, history and traditions, visit the Vancouver Latin American Cultural Centre website and explore the Latin American Heritage month program.

October 15th –  Xicanox Speaks!  

October 16th – Dialogo: A conversation of Latin American Art in North America

October 19th – Latin American Brilliance 

October 21st – Latin Expressions Short Stories Reading Group with Natalia Garcia Freire

October 27th – Bailando! What is the Latin American dance scene in Vancouver?
Demonstrations from four local Latin American Artists

Learn about the experience of Latinx women in STEM by attending the event “Latinas Leading in STEM” hosted by The Society for Canadian Women in Science and Technology.