ROCKY POINT, NC (WWAY) — Every September 15-October 15, Americans celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, a time set aside to commemorate the histories, cultures, and contributions of the Latinx people.
However this year, the Latinx community has had to adapt.
“Everybody has to understand that this is not a usual year,” Dr. Ricardo Valdivia said. “This is not like any other year. We have a pandemic going on, so changes have to be made.”
Dr. Valdivia owns San Martin Medical, a facility that serves many Latinx patients, some without health insurance.
Raishel Tessari is a nurse practitioner at the facility, and she says over the past few months she’s watched COVID-19 tear through the local Hispanic community.
“These big plants that we have, they’re creating an atmosphere where they need their employees, and their employees want to work,” Tessari said. “And so, when they’re in those close quarters at the beginning of the pandemic, we unfortunately as a result of that saw a lot of patients who were diagnosed with COVID.”
Under the circumstances, it can be dangerous to gather in large groups and celebrate without masks. But Tessari suggests that just because this year is different, doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate your Hispanic heritage.
“This is an oppurtunity for Latinos to really come through and say hey, we’re going to still celebrate what we are proud of, as they should be, and this is how we’re going to do it. It just may look a little different.”
Just remember to take the proper precautions. According to Valdivia, you should wear a mask wherever you go, wash you hands continuously, and keep any chronic illnesses like diabetes or heart disease in check.