I’ll be the first to admit that I went out on a Thursday night, which is something that I don’t do on the reg. The night of September 15th marked a very important celebration: Mexico’s Independence Day! (It’s NOT on Cinco de Mayo.) I may have taken a couple (or five) tequila shots that night, but it was all out of love for the beautiful country that my family originates from. September 15th also marks another important date, that is, the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month.

During this month, I get to celebrate and embrace the culture that is full of beautiful tradition, and of course, delicious food. But the Hispanic heritage is much more than just tacos, dance parties, and soccer fanatics, our heritage is full of inspiring values as well. I’m proud to celebrate and represent my culture not only this month, but on a daily basis.

1. Cultured AF

One common misconception is if you’re brown, you’re Mexican. There are so many different countries that are considered Hispanic origin, from Honduras to Puerto Rico, and each of these countries have different cultures and backgrounds that make them unique. They probably have different dance styles, language-slang, holiday traditions, and food (food is very important in the Hispanic community if you couldn’t tell). Which brings me on to the next point…

2. I will never go hungry

Taco Bell, step aside, because nothing can compare to my mom’s flautas or my grandma’s sopes. There is no such thing as a diet, because life is too short and good food is a must. Pass me the salsa, please.

3. Familia first

One major component of the Hispanic heritage is family. For any monumental moment in your life, you can count on your family being by your side. And we have LOTS of family. This isn’t just about your brothers and sisters, bring out your cousins, your aunts, your cousin’s kids, you name it. The family is one big support system, the best moments in our lives are spent with the best people in our lives.

4. Knowing more than one language

Not only is it an advantage to be bilingual in the workplace, but knowing another language cognitively is beneficial. And one thing to point out is that if we’re speaking our native language, it doesn’t mean we’re talking crap about you. Chances are, one language can better express a feeling over another. There’s a difference between “CHALE!” and “give me a break.”

5. Who needs a doctor when you have Vicks rub?

There are so many home remedies that date back from generation to generation when one gets sick in the household. If I ever get sick, you know I have to run back home to have some of my mom’s homemade chicken soup.

6. There’s always a reason to party

LIFE IS A FIESTA! For even the smallest events, a party is always a good idea. Oh, you got that new job? Party! Did your little cousin Guillermo get a 90% on his spelling test? That boy deserves a piñata. Christmas? We're celebrating Christmas Eve, we're ahead of the game. All we need is a backyard, some Coronas, music and good company.

7. “Musica, maestro”

Both music and dancing are in our blood--you best believe we get down. The world is our dance floor, and we have the right rhythm and steps. Move the living room table to the side and get your dancing shoes on, because it’s about to get LIT. “DANZA KADURO!”

8. Si se puede!

The Hispanic heritage emphasizes the power of perseverance. The culture puts much value on hard work, even when times get tough. Being Hispanic is not just about the food and parties, there’s so much history behind it, including the hard work and struggles that remind us of where we came from. Being Hispanic is one of the things I’m most proud of, and I know it’s something that can’t be taken away from me. The culture I was raised in made me who I am today, thanks to the positive qualities of love, family, and hard work. Happy Hispanic Heritage Month to my fellow Latinos!