Celebrating Hispanic culture: “The life of a lasting American in America”

Andrés Gonzalez, Staff Reporter

During LatinX heritage weekLakeland University’s Association of Latin American Students (ALAS) were honored to welcome Heather Montes Ireland on Oct. 7 as a guest speaker for a second time. Montes presented The Life of a Lasting American in America,” in which she shared her personal life and gave advice to students on being a Latin American in the United States. 

Montes, who works as an assistant professor of women’s and gender studies and affiliated faculty in critical ethnic studies, Latin American and Latin studies at DePaul University, focused on immigration by sharing several reasonings and extenuating circumstances that may exist behind a person’s decision to leave their home and immigrate illegally to another country.  

Montes encouraged Lakeland’s Latin American students to celebrate their differences and form communities where everyone looks out for one another due to the challenges they face. After Montes’ presentation, President of ALAS, Alannah Aguirre, said “Don’t be afraid to show who you truly are and what your culture is.”  

During her first visit to Lakeland, Montes provided insight based on her struggles with racism during her college career. Montes also provided information about other Hispanic communities by suggesting authors who are powerful examples of successful in the face of adversity.