Hispanic Heritage Month 2020 is celebrated in the United States from Sept. 15th through to Oct. 15th. It commemorates the independence of many Latin American countries from Spain. This year more than ever, however, I can’t help but reflect on what it means to be Latinx/Hispanic in these times.
Born in Havana, Cuba in November 1948, Ana Mendieta was a well-known performance artist throughout the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s. At age 12, she and her sister were forced to flee Cuba after her father joined an anti-Castro counter-revolutionary force, and the two siblings spent their first few weeks in the United States at a refugee camp in Florida until they were sent to an orphanage in Dubuque, Iowa — a location with a culture very different from the life Ana knew back in Cuba. She wouldn’t reunite with her mother and brother for five years and her father for another 18.
“Go back to where you started, or as far back as you can,
examine all of it, travel your road again and tell the truth about it.
Sing or shout or testify or keep it to yourself: but know whence you came.”
While Trump maintains a tougher immigration policy is necessary for economic and security reasons, his critics argue these policies are in direct violation of domestic laws and international humanitarian standards.
The result of living a life that straddles borders, cultures and identities can be unresolved grief and emotion that’s trapped within the body. Through a series of poses, yoga can help release such emotion and free a person of past trauma physically and spiritually. A routine yoga practice can also strengthen the mind-body-spirit connection.