Hispanic Heritage Month Spotlight: Jhocelyn Alvarado

Hispanic Heritage Month is an international celebration held from Sept. 15-Oct. 15. This month, we’ve asked faculty, staff and students to share what their Hispanic heritage means to them, as well as how the culture has shaped who they are and how others can learn from their experience.

In this Q&A, Hispanic mentor and Lamar University Enrollment Marketing Manager Jhocelyn Alvarado shares her background, culture and what Hispanic Heritage Month means to her and her family.

Q: What does Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you? Jhocelyn-alvarado-hispanic-heritage-month
A: Hispanic Heritage Month is a time to reflect on our roots and celebrate the influence of Latinx culture in our society. This month for me is about seeing how our culture has been embraced by many and how important it is to acknowledge and respect their origins.

Q: How has this culture shaped who you are today?
A: As a Latinx woman, my family and my culture are at the core of my values. It has shaped me and drives me not only in my personal life but professionally as well.

Q: What is something that you wished others knew about Hispanic Heritage month that they maybe don't already know?
A: I'd like everyone to remember that our community is multiracial and multicultural. The easiest way to celebrate a culture different from your own is by educating yourself. Learn a new recipe, watch a foreign film or go to a festival, that's what makes our world so unique. Embrace the differences!

Q: What advice (both personal and professional) would you give to young Hispanic/Latino students?
A: My best advice would be to never forget where you came from and be proud of your name. We deserve to be here, be recognized for our accomplishments and know that the sacrifices of those before us have put us in places where we can thrive.

Q: What are some cultural traditions that you hold close to your heart?
A: For me, the importance we attach to our families and our need to celebrate is very special. I was taught that family is everything and we don't need a special occasion for everyone to get together. Hearing stories about Mexico and learning recipes that have been passed down are what come to mind when I reflect on the traditions my family honors.

Q: What are you most proud of when it comes to your Hispanic heritage?
A: Honestly, our music is the best. It's incredibly diverse due to the sheer number of cultures and ethnic groups that have contributed to Latin music. Everyone needs to have Bad Bunny on repeat.