Latinx Heritage Month Student Spotlight: Q&A with David Garza '22

Sept. 15–Oct. 15 marks Latinx Heritage Month! To celebrate our diverse Latinx community, we’re highlighting student leaders and asking what this month means to them. David Garza is a senior at Saint Mary's majoring in English. David writes for the campus newspaper The Collegian and is part of the executive team on campus that plans and executes Latinx Cultural Night, which takes place in the spring. He identifies as Hispanic, specifically Mexican. 

 

What are some difficulties you've faced because of your culture or identity? 

I think that some of the difficulties I’ve faced are a sense of disconnection from my community. People often tell me that they don’t think I’m Hispanic or they say that I’m whitewashed because I guess I don’t subscribe to the stereotypes of Mexicans. I didn’t grow up around a lot of my culture, so as I get older, I definitely want to learn more about my heritage and where I come from, so that I can have a better understanding of my culture. 

 

Why is it important for our community and the larger community to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month?

I think it’s important to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month because it’s important to know your history and where you come from. When you don’t know that, it’s easier to take for granted all of the advantages you have now. But once you are aware of where you come from, you can greater appreciate where you’ve been and where you’re going. 

 

What advice do you have for community members who want to be actionable and help the Latinx/Hispanic community? 

I would advise people to get involved in the community as much as they can. There are lots of Hispanic students who are not that involved in the community, and I know that because I was one of them. But as I got older, I realized the value of my heritage, and how rich the history is. And just learning about your culture is a great way to feel closer to others in your community, because you have something in common.