Latinx Heritage Month Student Spotlight: Q&A with Maia Pagan ’23 

Sept. 15-Oct. 15 marks Latinx Heritage Month! To celebrate our diverse Latinx community, we’re high lighting student leaders and asking what this month means to them. Meet Maia Pagan, La Hermandad co-president and Ethnic Studies program ambassador! 

 

How do you identify, culturally and/or ethnically?

I identify as Mexican and as Puerto Rican, so as Latinx and Chicana.

 

What is your year, major, and minor? Or what is your job role and title?

I’m a Junior, I’m an Ethnic Studies major, and a Sociology minor. I am also the Ethnic Studies program ambassador. 

 

How are you involved in our campus community?

I’m the co-president of La Hermandad, which is a Latinx social justice club. I am also an Ethnic Studies ambassador so my part is to help create events and connect alumni and students to help make the Ethnic Studies Department flourish. 

 

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

One of the difficulties I have faced with my identity is trying to find where I fit in as both an American but also as someone who identifies as Latinx and Chicana. One triumph is my finding the Ethnic Studies community here at Saint Mary’s and finding a place I feel that I truly belong. 

 

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

Often the stories of Latinx people have been silenced and still to this day stereotypes are common. Hispanic Heritage Month can make it possible for stories to be shared as well as celebrate and bring together beautiful cultures. 

 

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

Start with the community and people around you, volunteer for local organizations, and make sure the voices around you are heard.