What is known as Hispanic Heritage Month runs from September 15th until October 15th. It is a time period dedicated to highlighting people who are considered Hispanic in the United States. However, the Hispanic identity in this country continues to ignore the different countries that Latin American consists of—including the Caribbean Islands that also share a similar colonization history led by the Spaniards. It also ignores the different races that exist within this identity (i.e. Indigenous, Black, Afro-Carribean, etc.) as well as our LGBTQIA2S relatives. In order to increase visibility to a marginalized group in Latin America, we are having this Decolonizing Hispanic Heritage Month series that will highlight Indigenous Womxn from Latin America. This will include LGBTQIA2S folks that continue to face harassment and oppression in the settler states that comprise Latin America.
Why is Indigenous Womxn visibility important?
According to the United Nations, Indigenous Womxn continue to be invisible and silenced due to the educational gaps that exist in their communities. Not only do they face the highest educational gaps in Latin America, they also face gaps in employment and health services. Their close kinships to Mother Earth also make them suffer at higher rates as we continue to face the impacts of climate change, environmental degradation, and intensified natural disasters. Our Indigenous Womxn are also the leaders—putting their lives in the front lines—to advocate for Indigenous Rights. This puts them in danger as they are murdered for their activism by those (non-Indigenous folks) who want to silence them and will not benefit from Indigenous peoples from gaining rights. The colonization, militarism, racism, poverty, and oppression they continue to face coupled with gender discrimination, make our Indigenous Womxn vulnerable to these oppressive settler states. However, they continue to be strong and resilient and through our Decolonizing Hispanic Heritage Month, we will highlight some of these powerful voices!