MIDLAND, Texas — National Hispanic Heritage Month began on Wednesday Sept.15 in the United States. The month long celebration dates all the way back to 1968.
Jaime Aguila, a history professor at Midland College, told NewsWest 9 more about the celebration, but also shared his personal connection to the holiday.
Aguila said the purpose of National Hispanic Heritage Month is to share history, heritage and contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans of the past and present while still honoring the culture.
Aguila has been teaching at MC for over four years. He said a big part of what he does today roots back to his first job.
"My first job was tying vines with my grandparents and picking grapes in the summer," said Aguila. "Last time I was joking with a friend and he asks 'why do you read so much' I said when I was growing up there was only work, reading and thinking about your future."
Aguila said the place he is now is due to the hard work passed down by his family.
"That lack of materialistic, or purchasing power, by my parents really makes me appreciate everything I have now," Aguila said. "I remind my children that there were many generations that it took for them to be here and have all this privilege."
Aguila feels proud to be part of an ethnicity that makes a big part of the state. He hopes more people would know more of the history of own background.
"Hispanic Heritage Month shows diversity, shows barriers, shows potential for success," said Aguila. "It is not only to understand where you came from, but your responsibility to society."
He hopes that responsibility is carried by his children for generations.
"That's why I became a historian because I have a strong sense and appreciation of were I came from," said Aguila. "It is important to teach my children where they came from to help them achieve happiness and part of our Mexican identity is to have a strong connection."
Every year, National Hispanic Heritage Month begins on Sept. 15, the day before Mexican Independence Day. National Hispanic Heritage Month will continue up to Oct 15.