Cultural diversity is commonly discussed through ISU as accepted and the presentation of Hispanic Heritage Month Sept. 24 at Charles E. Brown African American Cultural Center helped introduce students and faculty to the culture.

Hispanic Heritage Month lasts Sept. 15 to October 15th as a way to honor those who are part of the Hispanic and Latin cultures. 

The guest speaker of the presentation, Ricardo Mata, was born in Texas but both of his parents were born in and native to Mexico. He shared his point of view on the Hispanic culture.

Mata served the United States Army and said, “I always wanted to serve.” He stated that his brothers served and wanted to follow in their footsteps. 

Mata added that in the Hispanic culture family is all they have.

“Family is where you’re going back to,” Mata said as he got onto the topic of family is always there when you need someone.

Mata said, “You’re brought up with the mentality of family comes first.” He mentioned that he had been working since he was 12 to help provide for his family.

Mata also mentioned there was a time that he was asked if he was legal just because of the Hispanic culture that he comes from.

Mata said that he celebrates his Heritage all of the time and felt that was more important, especially when he talked about Heritage, “what do you value?”

An audience member asked Mata’s view on if a country should be made up of multiple languages or just one language that is used universally. His answer was, “I rather have a nation of multiple languages” and added by having only one language would force people to not talk about their heritage.

Bailee Douglas, an elementary education major from Princeton, IN, said of the presentation and Hispanic Heritage Month, “it’s important to know their values and what they believe is different than ours.”

Douglas said that she was raised to believe that her career is more important than family but she took away from Mata that family is more important than she realized.

Douglas also said, “I found it really interesting because I didn’t know the issues” and that people are really judged when they shouldn’t be judged.

Brittany Hess, special education, Chrisman, IL, said, “you know it’s happening [that young kids are working], this makes it realistic.”

Hess said her biggest takeaway from the presentation is that family is important. She said, “it is nice to see that family is important in other cultures.”