Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated every year from September 15 to October 15. People, organizations, businesses and more take the opportunity to celebrate the rich cultures of Spain, Mexico, Central America, South American and the Spanish-speaking nations of the Caribbean that helped shaped the lives of many Americans today.

In the Tri-City area, it’s the ideal time to recognize those Hispanics and Latinos who’ve had an impact locally. They’ve established flourishing businesses, helped launch and participate in community events like Imlay City’s former Cinco de Mayo celebrations, have vibrant faith communities and contribute to the local workforce, particularly when it comes to agriculture and food processing. The Hispanic Service Center, established several decades ago to help seasonal migrant workers now helps people of all ethnicities meet their basic needs while also helping to maintain and celebrate their organization’s heritage.

In general, the Tri-City area’s
Hispanic population is greater than the state’s average. As of a 2017 U.S. Census estimate, Latinos represented just over 5 percent of Michigan’s 10 million residents. In 2018, Census estimates put Imlay City’s Hispanic population at 29 percent; 23 percent in Capac and seven percent in Almont.

It’s important for people of all backgrounds to embrace and share their cultures with the communities they call home.

To that end, it’s great to see Latino and Hispanic youth celebrating and sharing in honor of this month too. Recently, Weston Elementary students in Imlay City took a deep dive into the life and art of Frida Kahlo. Last year, members of Imlay City High School’s Spanish Club launched their efforts to raise awareness for Hispanic Heritage Month and hosted a trivia event for students that highlighted the lives and accomplishments of famous Hispanics.

We hope that efforts to celebrate Hispanic heritage locally will be ongoing. The kind of diversity we enjoy here makes our community a more vibrant place to live and work.