Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates the histories, cultures, and contributions of Hispanic Americans to the U.S.
At GHC-SCW, we are proud to celebrate this month and support a more inclusive health care system. In honor of this month, we sat down with Catalina Heshusius, GHC-SCW Language Services Supervisor, about what Hispanic Heritage Month means to her, how she celebrates it, and the importance of the work done by Language Services.
1. What does Language Services do for our Spanish-speaking population?
We help to improve the quality of their health care and, thus, health outcomes by ensuring that their communication and language needs are met in interactions with their providers and GHC services, including navigating their benefits and accessing community resources. At GHC, we are pioneers in being not only translators and interpreters but also advocates who help bridge the cultural gaps for our Spanish-speaking members.
In our Language Services department, we embrace cultural diversity. We are proud to have a team of members fluent in Hispanic cultures to help break down the day-to-day barriers to communication.
2. How does a patient access Language Services?
For Spanish, they may call Language Services at 608-661-7215, and for Hmong or Laotian at 608-663-2940.
They may call reception or our call center for all other languages and will be connected with Pacific Interpreters.
3. What is celebrated during Hispanic Heritage Month?
This month, from September 15 to October 15, we celebrate and honor 500 years of Hispanic and Latin American cultures and contributions to the United States. This month is a time to share the history, heritage, and accomplishments of the past and present Hispanic and Latin Americans.
4. How many people in the U.S. speak Spanish as their first language?
In the United States, more than 43 million people speak Spanish as their first language (about 13 percent of the population), which continues to grow. Additionally, the United States is home to nearly 12 million bilingual English- Spanish speakers. The U.S. Spanish-speaking population is comparable to Spain, Colombia, and Argentina.
5. What’s the difference between Hispanic and Latino/a?
Hispanic refers to a person who is from, or a descendant of someone who is from, a Spanish-speaking country.
Latino/a or Latinx refers to a person from, or a descendant of someone from, a country in Latin America.
For example, someone from Brazil is considered Latino/a but not Hispanic, and conversely, someone from Spain is Hispanic but not Latino/a.
6. How can you help celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month?
We can all help celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month by cherishing the generations of Hispanic Americans who have significantly shaped and enhanced our country and civilization. Language Services is thankful to be a part of their lives and to have them in ours.
We are proud to support this community and appreciate their contributions every day. Here are some ways to contribute:
– GHC-SCW employees are encouraged to join our ERG Amig@s, open to everyone, including those who do not identify as Hispanic or Latin. We often get together to celebrate these cultures.
–Practice your Spanish. The U.W. offers a conversation table on Tuesdays from 5 to 7 pm at Union South.
–Visit the Wisconsin Latino Chamber of Commerce website to view the list of businesses to support, such as:
· La Taguara: Venezuelan & Latin Cuisine (Madison)
· Mishqui Peruvian Cuisine (Monona)
· Taqueria Gonzalez (Middleton)
· Compadres (Middleton)
· Los Gemelos (Madison)
· Monona Bakery (Monona)
– Participate every Thursday in the community market, Mercadito, at the Centro Hispano from 4 to 7 pm.
–Read some excellent literature in Spanish, even the translated versions. García Márquez himself read the English translation of Cien Años de Soledad (One Hundred Years of Solitude) and pronounced it better than his Spanish original.
Some of my favorites….
· Cien Años de Soledad (Gabriel García Márquez)
· Rayuela (Julio Cortázar)
· Don Quijote (Miguel De Cervantes Saavedra)
· La Casa de los Espíritus (Isabel Allende)
· Aura (Carlos Fuentes)
· Laberinto de la Soledad (Octavio Paz)
· Arráncame la Vida (Ángeles Mastretta)
–Watching Hispanic and Latinx movies, such as:
· Amores Perros
· Diarios de Motocicleta
· Como Agua para Chocolate
· El Secreto de sus Ojos
7. What is your favorite way to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month?
Language Services team’s answer:
- Watching movies in Spanish
- Having arepas
- Enjoying live Mariachi music
- Eating tacos
- Reading literature in Spanish