Hispanic Heritage Month can be an opportunity to learn and connect


Ava Brucall

Local restaurants, like Tacatz Tacos in St. Charles, can benefit from the focus on cultural elements related to special holidays and events.

Ava Brucall, Staff Writer

September 15 marks the start of this year’s Hispanic Heritage month, a month that celebrates the culture and history of American citizens whose ancestors came from Mexico, Spain, the Caribbean, Central and South America. Started in 1968, Hispanic Heritage month first became known as Hispanic Heritage week under President Lyndon Johnson.

It was in 1988 when it was later expanded to a month, starting on September 15 and ending on October 15, by President Ronald Reagan. It was then enacted into law on August 17, 1988. According to the official National Hispanic American Heritage Month website, “The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September 18, respectively.” Since then, Hispanic Heritage Month has been celebrated with festivals, community gatherings, art shows, and conferences, not only celebrating the culture but also recognizing the impact of small businesses and remembering the achievements of ancestors.

“When I grew up my family used to have a business so I decided to have my own taco place,” says Guillermo, or as his customers know him, “Memo,” owner of Tacatz Tacos, a leading Mexican restaurant located in Geneva. Tacatz Tacos serves a variety of authentic Mexican food from tortas and Mexican dogs to homemade paletas. The restaurant is family-owned, with Memo working alongside his wife and niece, making sure everything is satisfactory and made with love. He never would have expected to be this successful.

“We decided to open a business, and when you open a business like this you expect to sell your product more to Latinos and Latinas, but we get different people from different cultures here. It’s like when they try our food they realize it’s similar to theirs,” says Memo.

The month is not just for restaurants, however. The St. Charles Public Library also uses this time to highlight literature stemming from the Hispanic community and culture. For more about the books they offer go to https://www. scpld.org/ For more information about Hispanic Heritage Month, check out https://www.hispanicheritagemonth.gov/.