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Hispanic Heritage month 2023

October 16, 2023

“The National Council of Hispanic Employment Program Managers (NCHEPM) announced the 2023 Hispanic Heritage Month national theme: Todos Somos, Somos Uno: We Are All, We Are One. The theme reinforces the diversity inherent within the Hispanic community, as well as the power that comes from being a united community.” (NCHEPM, 2023)

As an organization, SWAAAE is proud to celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month. While our appreciation for Hispanic and Latinx communities extends throughout the year, the period from September 15th to October 15th holds a distinct significance. During that time, we recognized the numerous contributions that have deeply enriched the history and culture of the United States.

These contributions encompass essential advocacy work, vibrant expressions of art, beloved traditional and contemporary cuisine, and much more. Presently, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the Latinx population in the United States surpasses 60 million individuals, making up 18.9% of the total population. This demographic stands as the largest racial or ethnic group in the country. Latinos are indispensable to our nation's vitality, while significantly contributing to our economy and enriching our society.

Moreover, this month provides us with a unique opportunity to pay tribute to Hispanic and Latinx individuals' remarkable contributions within the aviation industry, spanning from early pioneers to contemporary leaders. These professionals not only occupy leadership positions within our airports but also play integral roles in the day-to-day operations that ensure our facilities operate efficiently and provide our passengers a great experience.

National Hispanic Heritage Month serves not only to celebrate these achievements, but also to underscore the paramount importance of diversity and inclusion within the aviation industry. We invite you to join us in commemorating National Hispanic Heritage Month as we collectively work towards forging a more inclusive and vibrant future. Together, we can pave the way for a richer, more diverse, and more prosperous aviation community.

Recognizing the significance of Hispanic and Latinx passengers as valued members of the aviation community, we encourage you to explore programmatic efforts aimed at celebrating this diverse population. Here are a few great examples from airports across the country that have undertaken initiatives to commemorate Hispanic Heritage Month this year:

SAT - Click Here to View SAT's Hispanic Heritage Month Celebrations, which includes:

❖ Hispanic Heritage Exhibit at the airport called “Cruising into History — A Celebration of Lowriders in San Antonio”

SFO - Click Here to View SFO's Hispanic Heritage Month Celebrations, which includes:

❖ Hispanic Heritage Short Films & Documentaries through SFO Museum’s Video Arts Program

❖ LatinX@ SFO Employee Resource Group

LAS - Click Here to View LAS' Hispanic Heritage Month Celebrations, which includes:

❖ Hispanic Heritage Music & Dance Performances at the Airport

ONT - ONT’s Hispanic Heritage Month Celebrations included:

❖ Internal educational hosted events focusing on cuisines, artists, etc. from various latin countries.

❖ Booth with traditional agua frescas for Volaris passengers hosted by Customer Experience team

❖ Newsletter that will showcase the internal stories of colleagues at ONT

These initiatives not only celebrate Hispanic and Latinx heritage but also create an inclusive and welcoming atmosphere for all passengers, fostering a deeper sense of community within the aviation industry. We encourage SWAAAE Airport members to consider programming Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations in 2024 and beyond.

It is paramount that we not only acknowledge but also respect the diverse ways in which individuals within this community choose to identify. Labels play a significant role in shaping one's personal, historical, and cultural identity, and it is a testament to the vibrancy of this community that numerous terms are employed. As such, we would like to offer a high level overview of some of these labels:

Hispanic = is a term that is related to language; it refers to a person with ancestry from a country whose primary language is Spanish.

Latino/Latina = is a term that is related to geography; it refers to a person with origins from anywhere in Latin America and/or the Caribbean. Latin America refers to every region below the United States including Mexico, Central America, and South America.

Latinx = is a term that has emerged in the pursuit of inclusivity by offering a gender-neutral alternative to Latino and Latina; the “x” replaces the male and female endings “o” and “a” that are part of Spanish grammar conventions. It’s pronounced: “Latin-EX”

Latine = In Spanish-speaking countries, the term Latine with the suffix "-e" has emerged as the gender-neutral alternative to the -o/a binary as words don't naturally end in an "x" sound in Spanish. It's pronounced:


Afro-Latino (or -Latina, -Latinx, -Latine) = refers to individuals of Latin America or of Latin American descent who are also of African ancestry.

Chicano/Chicana = refers to someone who is of Mexican descent and who lives in the United States.

Spanish = refers to both a language and a nationality. A common mistake is calling a Spanish-speaking person Spanish. A person who speaks Spanish is Hispanic. A person with ancestry from Spain is Spanish.

What term is best to use? It's complicated! These terms have histories and associations that differ from person to person, depending on where they grew up, their family’s country of origin, and other factors. Therefore the key is, when in doubt, ask the person you're speaking with if they have a preference out of respect.

Recognizing Hispanic Heritage Month is a good step in acknowledging and celebrating the community. Start with these key focuses to help celebrate Hispanic Heritage in an impactful and engaging way, to be a true advocate and champion for the Hispanic Community:

Support in the Aviation Industry:

Latino Pilots Association - whose mission is to: INSPIRE, DEVELOP, and SUPPORT the Latin/a/e/o/x Aerospace and Aviation Communities; further eliminating socio-economic barriers through representation, financial support, education and mentorship.

Support Hispanic Causes:

Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility - The Hispanic Association is the Nation's leading non-profit organization whose mission is to advance Hispanic inclusion in Corporate America at a level commensurate with their economic contributions.

Hispanic Scholarship Fund - HSF empowers students and parents with the knowledge and resources to successfully complete a higher education, while providing support services and scholarships to as many exceptional students, HSF Scholars, and Alumni as possible.

Support Hispanic Businesses:

❖ Choose a prominent Hispanic writer for a company book club

❖ Give away gift cards or cater lunch from local Hispanic restaurants

❖ Provide care packages to employees with gifts from small Hispanic-owned businesses.

Corporate Responsibility:

❖ Establish an Employee Resource Group (ERG) for Hispanic or LatinX employees.

❖ Partner with the Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF) to create fellowship opportunities

❖ Ensure your leadership team is diverse . Diversity in c-suite positions has been proven to positively impact profitability and job satisfaction.

Want a fun way to celebrate Hispanic Heritage month with the whole family?

Inspired by the remarkable real-life journey of NASA flight engineer José Hernández, the film “A Million Miles Away”, chronicles the extraordinary odyssey of José and his devoted family of proud migrant farm workers on a decades-long journey, from a rural village in Michoacán, Mexico, to more than 200 miles above the Earth in the International Space Station.

For more on José Hernández & A Million Miles Away, see his interview article below:

A Million Miles Away - Interview 

“I believe that fortitude is key. More than anything, be consistent. Go at it. Go at it. Go at it. When you succeed, don’t forget the responsibility of making somebody else succeed with you.”

— Antonia Novello

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