Latinx/Hispanic Representation Rises

New films and music demonstrate diversity

Matthew Beyer, Student Life Editor

Spanish teacher Neyda Mora, shows her first period class the songs “Idiota” (7) vs.”Epiphany” (10) for the daily Locura de Marzo competition. (Photo by M. Beyer)

Through the recent release of blockbuster films like In The Heights, Vivo and Disney’s Encanto, Latinx/Hispanic culture and talent is shared with the world. These movies are a great way to spend time with loved ones and broaden one’s horizons. 

Karina Martinez (11) loves seeing these movies and the strong representation found while watching them. 

“In my opinion, it is important that there has been more Latino and Hispanic heritage in recent movies because not only does it teach young children about the various races in the world, but it teaches others that in America we are all different. It is important to be inclusive to all,” Martinez said. “I also enjoy watching these films because I feel happiness that people are learning about other cultures, and the enjoyment others feel when they learn more about the diversity in our lives.” 

Latinx/Hispanic representation is not only used as a form of entertainment outside of the classroom, but Spanish teachers are also able to incorporate Spanish entertainment into classrooms. 

Spanish teacher Jessica Rodriguez believes that movies are an integral part in embracing oneself in Spanish and a great tool in the classroom.

Building an inclusive classroom where Latinx culture is taught and celebrated is necessary.”

— Jessica Rodriguez

“Building an inclusive classroom where Latinx culture is taught and celebrated is necessary. I enjoy including Latinx figures throughout the year through film, decor and projects,” said Rodriguez. “As a Latina and first-generation student, I identify with challenges presented when pursuing our educational goals.  Teaching high school, the opportunities are endless to mix culture and diversity daily. A couple of movies I enjoy showing are Coco, to shine on the Day of the Dead traditions and La Misma Luna, to bring awareness of immigration myths, issues and challenges.” 

One tool Spanish teachers enjoy using, especially in the month of March, is “Locura de Marzo.”  Locura de Marzo is similar to March Madness, but instead of basketball teams competing, Latinx and Hispanic musical artists songs go head to head and anyone in the world can vote for their favorite songs daily.  

Spanish teacher Neyda Mora loves sharing music with her students. 

“I love Locura de Marzo!  I’m passionate about connecting with my students through music as a means of celebrating Spanish culture and language.  It creates excitement for language learning and encourages my students to actively engage and dance,” Mora said.