TRINIDAD — The town of San Luis, the namesake of the San Luis Valley was established in 1851. It is the oldest town in Colorado, predating the establishment of our state by more than 25 years. During this, Hispanic Heritage Month, San Luis gives us an opportunity to reflect on the rich history of this region.
Hispanic culture is so interwoven in southern Colorado it would be impossible to separate it from Native American and Old West history. And who would want to? These cultures are stitched into the very fabric of every southern Colorado town.
The idea for Hispanic Heritage Month, celebrated from now to mid-October, began as a way to promote the history, culture, and contributions of Hispanic-Americans — specifically, those whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. Communities mark the achievements of Hispanic and Latino Americans with festivals and educational activities.
September 12 through 18 is also Hispanic Serving Institution Week, as declared by President Joe Biden. Today, more than a quarter of American schoolchildren are Hispanic — and the proportion of Hispanic Americans in our workforce is projected to grow substantially over the next 10 years.
Trinidad State College has long embraced this culture and was long ago declared a Hispanic Serving Institution, meaning at least a quarter of its students are of Hispanic ancestry. Fully 42 percent of Trinidad State’s students are Hispanic at this time. They are scattered from Trinidad to Alamosa and as far away as Colorado Springs and Canon City in various programs.
“We’re proud of our long tradition of enrolling and serving students who reflect the communities in which we are located, as it elevates the success of the entire region,” said Dr. Rhonda, Epper, Trinidad State College president.
Trinidad State has many fun and educational events planned for students in coming days to commemorate our rich Hispanic heritage.