Tiny globe in a person's palm

Celebrating Culture in Shelters

In our shelters, we celebrate many different cultures and honor the value they add to our lives. We are purposeful about celebrating different holidays in an effort to make the youth in our care feel comfortable and understood. Aside from this very important benefit, celebrations also serve as opportunities for learning about different cultures and expanding tolerance.

Staff member Roxana Diaz-Urdaneta reads the names of the students who would be presenting facts from Mexican history.

At many of our shelters, staff and youth recently gathered to celebrate Mexican Independence Day, which also highlights the start of Hispanic Heritage Month on Sept. 15. Mexican Independence Day, or El Dia de la Independencia, celebrates the anniversary of the country’s independence from Spain on Sept. 16.

In addition to celebrating Mexican Independence Day, staff frequently recognize the countries of other young people represented in the shelters through music, food and other celebrations.

“September is independence month for the countries of El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Mexico. In order to celebrate independence day our youth and staff participated in a very inspiring pep rally. National anthems were played and student representatives gave speeches describing how they celebrated independence day in their home countries,” Casa Esperanza staff shared.

These celebrations help the youth in our care feel valued and respected and serve as an opportunity to tase time out of school and regularly scheduled recreation for a special treat. “It’s important to us that the youth feel at home and get a chance to have some fun,” says Casa Quetzal Lead Teacher Marielys Cobarrubia. “Plans for an international day to celebrate the various cultures represented in Casa Quetzal are set for October.”

If you enjoyed this story, read more about Immigrant Children’s Shelters.


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