To address the many stigmas toward the Hispanic community, Diamond Bar High School’s Hispanic Organization Promoting Education club aims to spread awareness of the injustices and inequalities this group faces.
The club’s leadership consists of president junior Cristian Ruvalcaba, vice president junior Noah Jung and secretary senior Jonah Reyes.
“The purpose of this club, and the reason it was created, was to bring people together and form a sense of community within DBHS,” Ruvalcaba said via Instagram. “It’s really a club where a person can feel as if the members of the club are a group of close friends.”
As a minority, Reyes recounted experiences in which his peers asked him racially insensitive questions, motivating him to spread awareness about Hispanic culture in order to create a sense of unity, rather than exclusion..
“We must look past it all and continue to strive in everything we do because that’s when we’ll show people that we belong and we are their equals, not illegals, rapists, robbers or people destroying the economy by stealing jobs,” he said. “That’s also what I hope HOPE accomplishes — for people to be proud of their heritage and where they and their families come from.”
In order to combat stigmas and assist those who have experienced or been prejudiced towards Hispanic people, the group celebrates Hispanic holidays and teaches more about the community’s traditions to raise cultural awareness.
“One of my favorites were the activities for Día de [los] Muertos where we colored frames that go with a picture of the dead to honor them,” Jung said via Instagram. “We also had a special pan, or bread, for that day.”
Meetings are held once a month, with typical activities consisting of discussions and lectures on Hispanic history and culture, in addition to college planning tips.
“[The topics] are selected because they’re essential to understanding Hispanic heritage and also understanding how to embrace your culture and where you come from,” Reyes said.
In the past year or so, the club has collaborated with the Black Student Union in an effort to increase attendance. As of late, the officers are planning to have more events and collaborations in the future to strengthen and promote their messages of equality and representation on campus .
“My plan is for the club to go more in depth about what we can do to get equality in our community by spreading awareness events that could be impactful; maybe [by] working with other organizations where we could fundraise and donate,” Reyes said.