Hispanic Heritage Month Spotlight: Tracy Ramirez

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 experiences.

In this Q&A, Tracy Ramirez, a senior communication-broadcasting major, shares her background, culture and what Hispanic Heritage Month means to her and her family. 

Q: What does Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you? 
A: National Hispanic Heritage Month is an important time to celebrate the histories, cultures and contributions of Hispanics and Latinos. I believe it is a time when we all come together and celebrate each other's cultures and histories. I love to try new foods and learn of other Hispanic cultures and traditions. It is a time of embracing how unique we all are.  

Q: How has this culture shaped who you are today?  
A: Being born to Nicaraguan parents, my culture, traditions and the importance of family have been deeply rooted in me. From growing up with my mother's Nicaraguan dishes and pastries, to the music I listened to, the indigenous language my family and I spoke, how we celebrated holidays as a family, it all contributed to my Hispanic identity.  

Q: What is something that you wished others knew about Hispanic Heritage month?  
A: The reason Hispanic Heritage Month runs from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15 is that Sept. 15 is significant to a few Latin American countries. It is the anniversary of independence for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on Sept. 16 and Sept. 18. Finally, Nicaragua is the largest country in Central America and Lake Nicaragua is the largest lake in Central America. 

Q: What advice (both personal and professional) would you give to young Hispanic/Latino students? 
A: My first piece of advice would be to be proud of where you are from. I am proud to be a first-generation Nicaraguan woman and I hope to inspire young Latinas to be strong, powerful, classy and educated. Surround yourself with people who want the best for you and help push you to new levels. Be active in your community, join leadership organizations, give back, and help others as much as you can. If God has blessed you, help bless others.  

Q: What are some cultural traditions that you hold close to your heart? 
A: My favorite Hispanic traditions would have to be the food we cook during the holidays. Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations with my family are just the best. Family is very important to me; my husband and I make sure to pass down to our children all our traditions. We also make them aware of how important it is to be proud of being Hispanic.   

Q: What are you most proud of when it comes to your Hispanic heritage? 
A: The thing I am most proud of is the ability of Hispanic/Latinos to overcome challenges. We are resilient and determined. My parents came to Texas as immigrants searching for a better life. When I hear how much they sacrificed and the challenges they had to overcome, I am so grateful for them and proud to be Hispanic.