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Hispanic Heritage Month Book List

Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated each year from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15 and serves as a way to intentionally celebrate the culture and contributions of Latinx and Hispanic communities worldwide. The observation began as Hispanic Heritage Week in 1968 and was expanded in 1988 to be a month long. 

Sept. 15 marks Independence Day for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days later that same week.

A perfect way to celebrate is by grabbing a book written by and about Hispanic and Latino American authors. Check out this year’s updated graphic to determine which book is perfect for you to read. 

Living Beyond Borders by Margarita Longoria (2021)

Twenty stand-alone short stories, essays, poems, and more from celebrated and award-winning authors make up this YA anthology that explores the Mexican American experience. The mixed-media collection talks about the borders the authors have crossed, the struggles they overcame, and how they continue to navigate living as Mexican American. 

Undocumented by Dan-el Padilla Paralta (2015)  

Dan-el Padilla Paralta recounts his journey from an undocumented immigrant living in a New York City homeless shelter to being at the top of his Princeton class. Throughout his youth, Paralta navigated two worlds: the rough streets of East Harlem, where he lived with his brother and his mother, and the ultra-elite halls of a Manhattan private school, where he soon rose to the top of his class. Following high school, Paralta went to Princeton, where he thrived and made the decision to come out as an undocumented student in a Wall Street Journal profile. 

App Kid by Michael Sayman (2021)  

An inspiring and deeply personal coming-of-age memoir from one of Silicon Valley’s youngest entrepreneurs—a second-generation Latino immigrant who taught himself how to code as a thirteen-year-old and went on to claim his share of the American dream. 

Tentacle by Rita Indiana (2015)  

Tentacle is an electric novel with a big appetite and a brave vision, plunging headfirst into questions of climate change, technology, Yoruba ritual, queer politics, poverty, sex, colonialism, and contemporary art. Bursting with punk energy and lyricism, it’s a restless, addictive trip: The Tempest meets the telenovela. 

Caramelo by Sandra Cisneros (2003)  

Lala Reyes’ grandmother is descended from a family of renowned rebozo, or shawl-makers. The striped (caramelo) is the most beautiful of all, and the one that makes its way, like the family history it has come to represent, into Lala’s possession. A multigenerational family narrative turns into a whirlwind exploration of storytelling, lies, and life. Like the cherished rebozo, Caramelo is alive with the vibrations of history, family, and love. 

If you still want more, check out the following fiction and non-fiction books as well: 

Want even MORE recommendations? Read Jenna’s Hispanic Heritage Month blog post from last year.


""Jenna Renaud is a graduate student in the Communication Department and graduate assistant in Falvey Memorial Library.


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Weekend Recs: Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month

Happy Friday, Wildcats! After a year off, Falvey Memorial Library is bringing back Weekend Recs, a blog dedicated to filling you in on what to read, listen to, and watch over the weekend. Jenna, a graduate assistant from the Communication department, scours the internet, peruses the news, and digs through book stacks to find new, relevant, and thought-provoking content that will challenge you and prepare you for the upcoming week. 

Wednesday, Sept. 15 kicked-off Hispanic Heritage Month. The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on Sept. 15 and ending on Oct. 15. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988, on the approval of Public Law 100-402.  

Why does Hispanic Heritage Month start in the middle of the month? 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 Sept. 16 and Sept. 18, respectively. Take some time this weekend to learn more about Hispanic Heritage Month and how you can celebrate.

If you have 3 minutes… check out this article I wrote last year to find a new book by a Hispanic or Latino American author to read this month. 

If you have 7 minutes… read this article from the Skimm about co-founders of streetwear and empowerment brand Daughter of an Immigrant, Leslie Garcia and Karen Garcia. 

If you have 12 minutes… watch this YouTube video from Great Big Story celebrating Hispanic American stories. 

If you have 20 minutes… listen to VISIT PHILADELPHIA’s podcast, Love + Grit, and hear the stories of Francisco Garcia, founder of Philadelphia’s first Latino-owned whiskey distiller, and social justice professional Alba Martínez, who composed a song inspired by SEPTA’s Route 47 bus, which runs through the heart of the city’s Latino community. 

If you have an evening… visit one of these Latinx-owned restaurants right here in Philly. 


""Jenna Renaud is a graduate assistant in Falvey Memorial Library and a graduate student in the Communication Department.


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Cat in the Stax: Appreciating Hispanic Visual Artists

By Ethan Shea

"Food City by Yunuen Cho"

“Food City” by Yunuen Cho

To keep with recent “Cat in the Stax” themes of exploring different forms of art, and to honor the start of Hispanic Heritage Month, I want to call attention to a few visual artists of Latin-American descent.

Gaining access to these artists’ works was made easy with the help of Falvey’s Art History subject guide and a database called Artstor. Here, I was able to find plenty of images of paintings and sculptures by several artists. Scrolling through this database was like walking through a museum without ever leaving my desk, so if you enjoy visual art, I recommend you check it out! There are also plenty of art books located in our stacks that are a pleasure to thumb through.

Research aside, here are a few artists definitely worth knowing!

"Nuestra Senora de Las Iguanas" by Graciela Iturbide

“Nuestra Senora de Las Iguanas” by Graciela Iturbide

Graciela Iturbide

Graciela Iturbide has been featured in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art as well as The J. Paul Getty Museum for her photography that focuses on the daily lives of indigenous people in Mexico. She is lauded for her ability to vividly document the lives of those she photographs in a manner that is not exploitative. Iturbide was born in Mexico City and introduced to photography as a child through her father, who would take pictures of Iturbide and her family members. Other points of inspiration for Iturbide are women’s rights and migration.

Doris Salcedo

"Untitled" by Doris Salcedo

“Untitled” by Doris Salcedo

Born in 1958, Doris Salcedo is a sculptor of Colombian descent who uses common household items to represent trauma and loss. Salcedo has witnessed family members go missing in her home nation of Colombia due to political turmoil, and she uses these personal, trumatic experiences to represent the feeling of emptiness loss brings. Salcedo has had her art featured in the Guggenheim Museum, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the University Museum of Contemporary Art in Mexico among several others. Earlier this year, Salcedo’s installation, Fragmentos, made headlines when the Colombian Ministry of Culture was accused of exploiting the piece for their own purposes, breaking from the anti-war messages carried by the piece.

"Cow Community" by Yunuen Cho

“Cow Community” by Yunuen Cho

Yunuen Cho

Based in New York City, Yunuen Cho is an Asian-American and Latina artist of Mexican descent, specifically of the Tarahumara people. Her piece featured here, Cow Community, is a painting inspired by Labor Day. There are many food-related elements in the piece that pay homage to the Mexican working class. Cho has several family members who are essential workers in the food industry, and this painting brings light to the fact that essential workers like them do not have the privilege of enjoying a day off like others. There are also references to specific historical events in the piece. The mushroom holding a flag with text that translates to “Land and Liberty” represents Emiliano Zapata, a leader of the Zapatista movement, a cause that fought against the Mexican government in the early 20th century in the name of agrarian rights. Cho was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, so many of her other pieces, such as Food City, are inspired by the experience of living in the American Southwest. You can find more of Yunuen Cho’s art here.

 

 


Headshot of Ethan SheaEthan Shea is a first-year English Graduate Student at Villanova University and Graduate Assistant at Falvey Memorial Library.


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Hispanic Heritage Month Book List

By Jenna Newman

Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated each year from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15 and serves as a way to intentionally celebrate the culture and contributions of Latinx and Hispanic communities worldwide. The observation began as Hispanic Heritage Week in 1968 and was expanded in 1988 to be a month long.

September 15 marks independence day for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days later that same week.

A perfect way to celebrate is by grabbing a book written by and about Hispanic and Latino American authors. Check out our graphic to determine which book is perfect for you to read.

Ordinary Girls by Jaquira Díaz: Jacquira Diaz’s life and enthralling memoir begins in Puerto Rico with a carefree childhood and follows Diaz on her journey to Miami, where her life is turned on its head as she enters adolescence. Diaz then recounts her time in the military and then a college education. Ultimately, she is able to find resilience in the most difficult of times. 

Tracing the Horse by Diana Marie Delgado: Diana Marie Delgado shares her experiences growing up in a Southern California city that’s run by a culture of machismo. Poetry is ultimately what allows Delgado to share her experiences with the rest of the world in this captivating memoir.

Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Perez: The setting is New London, Texas, in 1937, right before the New London school explosion. East Texas is divided based on race, which everyone is painfully aware of, yet Perez tells the story of Naomi Vargas and Wash Fuller, two people with an attraction so powerful it breaks through segregation, despite the consequences. 

Fruit of the Drunken Tree by Ingrid Rojas: This story by Ingrid Rojas takes place against the backdrop of the violence of Colombia in the 1990s. Rojas explores the difference of wealth, especially while living in a country in turmoil. The story is inspired by Rojas own life and contrasts two very different, but inextricable coming-of-age stories. 

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz: For anyone who loves ghost stories, Junot Diaz’s story of Dominican Oscar Wao whose family has been haunted for generations. As Oscar works to overcome the curse, he displays the endless human capacity to persevere while simultaneously giving insight into the Dominican-American experience.

If you still want more, check out the following fiction and non-fiction books as well:


Jenna Newman is a graduate assistant in Falvey Memorial Library and a graduate student in the Communication Department.


 


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Foto Friday: In Honor of Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month

By Regina Duffy

Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month is observed in the United States annually from Sept. 15–Oct. 15. It offers us the opportunity to pay tribute to the history, culture and countless contributions made by Hispanic/ Latinx people.

In honor of this important national celebration, a window display was recently erected in Falvey Memorial Library’s Speakers’ Corner space. As you can see, the display showcases many trademark Villanova “V’s” highlighted with the vibrant colors of various Spanish-speaking countries.

Pictured to the left is Kallie Stahl, Communication and Marketing Specialist at Falvey Memorial Library, as she carefully mounts the display. Be sure to check out the display windows if you are walking through the Library’s first floor!

If you are interested in exploring Hispanic/Latinx- related resources that are available through Falvey, you can refer the dedicated page that is a part of the Library’s Diversity and Inclusion Guide. There you will information about books, ebooks and articles. If you have come across a resource in your studies or elsewhere that you believe would make a good fit for this page on the Diversity and Inclusion Resource Guide, we invite you to fill out the request form and let us know about it! We welcome input as well as the opportunity to add to the resource page.

Since it’s Fun Friday, we thought that you might also enjoy a word search in honor of the Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month celebrations. The word search contains the names of Spanish-speaking countries. Please take a moment to download the image below, print, and enjoy!


 

 

 


headshot picture of regina duffy

Regina Duffy is a Communication and Marketing Specialist at Falvey Memorial Library.

 

 

 


 


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Hispanic Heritage Month: Dulce de Leche

hispanic heritage month 2015The inspiration to make dulce de leche for Hispanic Heritage Month came from reading articles and books about Jorge Bergoglio, who enjoyed cooking for his family and for his fellow Jesuits before becoming Pope Francis. Dulce de leche means “milk jam” and essentially calls for only two ingredients, milk and sugar, but other variations exist. The dessert is said to originate in Argentina, the Pope’s home country, and is also popular in other Latin American countries and in Europe.

Legend has it that, in the early 19th century, a cook who worked for General Juan Manuel de Rosas, an Argentine dictator, left a pan of milk and sugar on the stove unattended during a particularly chaotic day and when she returned found that it had converted to a creamy, thick brown syrup. Apparently, she convinced one of the soldiers to taste it.

If prepared with goat’s milk, as with the version described below, it is known as cajeta. It is also referred to as manjar in Mexico when prepared with vanilla or as cortada when made with soured milk in Cuba. It can also be prepared using a can of sweetened condensed milk, a process that is also described below. No matter which method you choose, it can take up to three hours and requires your full attention, so keep a close eye on the stove. Your patience will be rewarded.

Dulce de Leche (homemade)

1 quart goat milk (whole)

1 cup sugar

½ vanilla bean

¼ tsp. sea salt

¼ tsp. baking soda

2 tsp. water

Using a medium to large, preferably tall, non-stick pot, combine milk, sugar, and sea salt. Start warming the milk mixture slowly on the stove. Cut the 1/2 vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out the seeds and put the seeds and the scraped bean into the milk mixture.

Turn the heat up and bring the mixture to a healthy simmer, but don’t let it boil. Mix the baking soda and water together in a separate dish. Remove the pot from the stove and add the baking soda & water mixture. It might foam a little if you’re using goat’s milk so hold it over the sink, just in case.

dulce de leche simmerPlace the pot back on the stove and simmer for an hour, stirring every 5-10 minutes. Once it starts turning a light brown, stay at the stove and stir every 5 minutes or less to keep the mixture from sticking. Do this for another hour. If you’ve got studying to do, this is the perfect time to multi-task. Prop your book up and read while you stir.

The dulce de leche will start to thicken and darken. Keep stirring. You can remove it from the stove before the end of the second hour if it has reached the right caramel color and gooey consistency.

dulce de leche jarUse immediately as a topping on ice cream, crepes, apple pie, toast, or just eat it with a spoon while you study. If you have any left, store in a closed glass jar and let cool completely before placing in the refrigerator for storage. It will keep for a few weeks.

My first batch hardened as soon as I poured it into the jar. I had to microwave it for a few seconds to soften it up before serving.

Dulce de Leche (with a can of condensed milk)

Here’s a quick and easy way to make dulce de leche with only one ingredient: a can of sweetened condensed milk. Fill a large pot, preferably a tall pot, with water. Remove the label from the can of condensed milk and place the can on its side at the bottom of the pot. Make sure the water level is at least one inch above the can. Bring to a rolling simmer. Cook for 2-3 hours.

October 5 2015 104IMPORTANT: Keep checking the pot every 15 minutes to ensure the water level is always at least one inch above the can. Let the can cool completely before opening, otherwise it could explode, resulting in a big mess and possible injury.

Serve as noted above.

 

Additional fiction and non-fiction resources (sampling below) on dulce de leche are available through E-ZBorrow or Interlibrary Loan. You can also contact the Romance Languages & Literatures librarian, Susan Ottignon for scholarly Hispanic or Latino cultural resources. There is also a Villanova University Hispanic Initiatives site that promotes resources and events on campus.

dulce de leche books

 

LuisaCywinski_headshot thumbnailHispanic Heritage Month food blog by Luisa Cywinski, editorial coordinator on the Communication & Service Promotion team and team leader of Access Services.


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Foto Friday: How Villanova Celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month

Photo by the PopKick App from Pixabi

National Hispanic Cultural Heritage Month, celebrated annually from September 15 to October 15, recognizes the vital contributions, history and culture of Hispanic and Latino American people. Since the University’s patron saint, Thomas of Villanova, is of Spanish descent, we feel a special connection with this culture and recognize the importance of highlighting this month on campus.

Since 2005, Falvey Memorial Library has been proud to co-sponsor various programs and displays in collaboration with other academic divisions and student organizations from across campus to honor National Hispanic Heritage Month. Previous events have included book talks, receptions and cultural displays in the Library. Events have ranged from talks, such as those about writer Juan Ramón Jiménez and painter El Greco, to a reception in honor of Peruvian author José María Arguedas.

This year, Falvey Memorial Library has teamed up with the Office for Mission and Ministry’s Hispanic Initiatives Project to create a poster display in honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month. Twenty vibrant posters featuring doorways to various Spanish-speaking countries have been mounted in Falvey’s Speakers’ Corner by Laura Matthews, library events and outreach specialist; Kallie Stahl, Scholarly Outreach graduate assistant; and Kyle Bowles, Scholarly Outreach student employee. The display was meticulously designed by Joanne Quinn, Communication and Service Promotion team leader. Students, faculty and staff are invited to view the poster display until the end of the fall semester.

Screen Shot 2015-10-01 at 3.05.45 PMIn addition to the poster display in Falvey, the Office for Mission & Ministry’s Hispanic Initiatives Project regularly promotes additional Hispanic activities and programs, both on and off campus, in order to meet the needs of the growing Hispanic and Latino student population at Villanova and in the surrounding communities. This outreach effort includes information about how to access academic programs and support services, activities, clubs and organizations, support by Spanish-speaking Villanova faculty and staff, information about the bi-annual Villanova Hispanic Forum as well as details about how to attend Masses held in Spanish. Please check the Office for Mission and Ministry’s Hispanic Initiatives webpage for more information about these programs and about additional resources related to Hispanic history, culture and programs.

Also, please be sure to attend the Department of Romance Languages & Literatures’ talk, “Remembering Student Movements in Mexico: From 1968 to Ayotzinapa” by Raúl Diego Rivera Hernández and Tomás Hidalgo Nava. The talk will take place Thursday, Oct. 8 at 3:00 p.m. in SAC, room 300. This event will recognize the one year anniversary of the kidnapping and disappearance of 43 students in Iguala, Guerrero, Mexico.

Help Villanova celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month! Be sure to view the poster display in Falvey, participate in the Office for Mission and Ministry’s programs or attend the lecture on October 8.


Article by Regina Duffy; photo by Joanne Quinn. 

 


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Last Modified: October 2, 2015