Hispanic Heritage Month: 5 Inspiring Women You Need to Know
We’re celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month – September 15 to October 15 – a time to reflect on the histories, cultures and contributions of Americans whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.
Since we’re all about changing the cycle through open conversation and action, we want to pay homage to some of the most famous Hispanic women who did just that throughout history, making major societal change for future generations.
Say only her first name, and people know exactly who she is: arguably Mexico’s most famous artist. Despite being bedridden for much of her adult life, she vivaciously painted the female perspective.
Just like her paintings, she had her own signature look. Frida was very proud of her colorful ensembles, which represented the patterns of Mexico’s native peoples. Also a part of her iconic look was her emphatic embrace of facial hair, refusing to alter her own heavy eyebrows or remove her upper lip hair.
Witnessing the mistreatment of farmers while growing up in Stockton, CA, the center of the San Fernando Valley where vast amounts of U.S. produce is grown, Huerta grew to become one of the most influential advocates for farmers in the country. She organized workers and encouraged them to fight for fair pay and more humane working conditions. Later, in 1962, she co-founded the union United Farm Workers, which still stands strong today.
Antonia Tarrago and Isabel Le Brun Pinochet
This determined duo took the importance of educating young women in their country of Chile into their own hands. Tarrago and Pinochet founded the first two all-female high schools in Chile in the late 1800’s, and Pinochet even went on to establish a university for women in 1876. However, Chile fell under dictatorship from 1973 to 1989, and the schools collapsed as a result; Emphasis on education for young women was cut until Chile became democratized thereafter, and a statue of Tarrago and Pinochet was built in Santiago in their honor.
Meet the first Latin American woman ever to win a Nobel Prize. As a poet, she achieved the highly-coveted award for her work Sonnets of Death in 1914. She wrote under the pseudonym Gabriela Mistral but was born in Chile as Lucila Godoy y Alcayaga. She published hundreds of articles in magazines and newspapers throughout the Spanish-speaking world and considered Eleanor Roosevelt a close confidante. What set Mistral’s poetry apart from previous generations of Latin American poets was that her poems explored death much more broadly.
Here’s another woman who never stopped chasing change. Nominated by President Barack Obama on May 26, 2009, Sonia Sotomayor became the first Hispanic, and only the third woman, ever, to become justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. Growing up in a South Bronx housing project, she beat all odds through education and pure determination. After her father died, her mother, a struggling single parent, stressed the importance of higher education. Sotomayor went on to graduate summa cum laude from Princeton in 1976, entered Yale Law School, received her J.D. and then eventually entered private practice. Sotomayor also made time for pro bono work, serving on the board of the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, the New York City Campaign Finance Board and the State of New York Mortgage Agency. It is through these positions that she caught the attention Presidents George H. W. Bush, receiving her first appointment as a district court judge. After being appointed to U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals, and landing in her current historic role.
Who are other Hispanic women in history who inspire you and why? Tell us below!
- Posted by holx-admin
- On September 29, 2016