Celebrating the Latin American History at Palos Verdes


LASA Presidents Luka Ardon and Alina Montalvan at a cultural food fair last year. (Photo courtesy of Cynthia Mindicino)

Luka Ardon, Centerspread Editor

This month, PVHS is celebrating Latin American heritage on campus. 

Latin American Heritage Month’s purpose is to celebrate and learn about Latin American culture in the United States. 

Christina Varela is the club director of one of PVHS’s new clubs, the Latin American Student Association, or LASA. 

“It’s important for everyone to see their culture and history acknowledged, respected and appreciated,” Varela said. 

Latin American Heritage Month starts off on September 15 and ends on October 15. 

September 15 is an important day to many people in the Latin American community, because it’s the independence day for five Central American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Honduras. 

The following day is Mexico’s independence day. 

“Here’s the deal: the part of the United States that we are living in right now was all once Mexico. Then it flipped and became the United States in 1850,” said Varela. 

“So that culture, that heritage, is here. It was here from the beginning.” 

Although it might not seem like there is a lot of Latin American culture in Palos Verdes, it’s the contrary. 

“We have a Spanish name for our city,” Varela said.

Many of the street names are also of Spanish origin. 

Alina Montalvan, one the Co-Presidents of LASA, is already working on the goals of LASA for PVHS.

“We need to spread awareness about our culture and make sure that we are represented on campus,” said Montalvan.

Awareness months like Black History Month in February and Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in May are very important for their respective groups. 

“There are those who say we shouldn’t have these special months, but until we integrate and all accept this as our history, we need to have these months,” Varela said.