How to Celebrate Hispandering Heritage Month

Well, first off, Hispandering Heritage Month is about as bland as this commercial from New York 1 Noticias. I love those guys, but see for yourself:

In response, I’ve prepared a list that hopefully will help gringos and non-gringos alike celebrate this month like never before — which, for Hispanics, is probably true since they usually don’t celebrate it according to a survey by Nielsen in 2011.

  1. Don’t eat at Taco Bell or Chipotle. These two establishments have combined to perpetrate an ongoing culinary nightmare for true taco lovers. Try satisfying your cravings elsewhere for once.
  2. Speak Spanish for the entire month. Revisit high school and your freshman year of college with the estimated 50 million Spanish-speakers in this country — only second to Mexico. That’s right. We have more hispanohablantes here in the United States than they do in Spain. And that number is only growing.
  3. Learn the difference between Hispanic and Latino. Then unlearn it. Warning: Try to avoid simplistic illustrations and instructional videos at all costs.
  4. As a bonus to the previous suggestion, learn the difference between Mexican Independence Day and Cinco de Mayo.
  5. Purchase a Donald Trump piñata. Then take a stick and hit the piñata really, really hard. Don’t even bother wearing a blind fold. This is not a game.
  6. Watch the television series Narcos on Netflix with your Colombian friend (or anyone from a Spanish-speaking country) and respectfully listen to them complain about the accents, historical inaccuracies, cultural insensitivity, and so on.
  7. As a bonus, learn how to spell Colombia. If you need help, apply to Columbia University.
  8. Learn to appreciate the neocolonial status of Puerto Rico, and if you happen to visit the island, remember to leave your passport at home and clap when the damn plane lands.
  9. Respect the ñ. Moreover, don’t butcher names in general.
  10. Remove the term magical realism from your vocabulary or I will do it for you.

Follow these simple suggestions and you should be rewarded with a month that doesn’t include the #NoMames hashtag.


Néstor David Pastor runs social media for Radio Ambulante. He’s a writer, a musician, a grad student and, oh yeah, a Puerto Rican and Peruvian all-star. Follow him @n_davidpastor.

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Ha, I would add: Avoid the phrase 'South of the Border' at all costs — unless specifically referring to that bizarre roadside attraction in South Carolina.