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Heritage and Home

When you succeed, don’t forget the responsibility of making somebody else succeed with you.
Antonia Novello, Pediatrician and first Hispanic US Surgeon General

I sat down this week to write about National Hispanic Heritage Month* and instead my news feed was flooded, quite literally, with news of Hurricane Fiona hitting land in the US Territory of Puerto Rico. Considering the awe-inspiring profiles of Hispanic Americans—educators, astronauts, farm workers, doctors, activists, scientists, legislators, artists, and more—alongside the devastating damage in Puerto Rico offered a gripping reminder that in both celebration and loss, we stand together. As the hard work of rebuilding begins again, the words of US Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor reveal a well of hope, resilience and healing that we wish for all: “There are uses to adversity, and they don't reveal themselves until tested, whether it's serious illness, financial hardship, or the simple constraint of parents who speak limited English, difficulty can tap unexpected strengths.”

*Established in 1968, the start of National Hispanic Heritage Month in the United States was set as September 15, to coincide with Independence Day in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Mexico and Chile celebrate their Independence Days shortly thereafter. Puerto Rico remains a U.S. Territory. Both Novello and Sotomayor are Puerto Rican Americans.

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