Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month During a Pandemic

2020 has been a year filled with challenges and adjustments. Cultural celebrations were no exception, as organizations had to find creative and safe ways to honor and highlight traditions and heritage.


Hispanic Heritage Month starts on September 15 through October 15 in the United States and recognizes the contribution and influence of Hispanic Americans to the history, culture, and achievements of the United States.


Our blog is contributed by AHAM - which stands for Asociacion Hispanoamericana de Mujeres (Hispanic Women's Association). A non-profit organization since 1999, formed by a group of hardworking women who are passionate about education and Hispanic culture. AHAM's mission is to grant higher-education scholarships to students of Hispanic origin of the Upstate of SC. We envision our Hispanic Youth as an active part of the development of the community.


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It all started as a small group of women getting together to socialize, who shared a common culture. And this group of women wanted to do more. They wanted to serve their community. And they saw a need. This is how AHAM came to fruition. An organization that wanted to help young Hispanics reach their dreams, promoting higher education among high school students of Hispanic descent through educational scholarships in the Upstate of SC. In 1999, 1 scholarship was handed out with a value of $1,000. To date, $367,300 has been awarded, impacting 147 students. AHAM is a group of hardworking women (and also men volunteers) who are passionate about education and culture. All of us are committed to helping the Hispanic population achieve a better future through higher education--and we make it all happen through the magic of volunteerism! Yes, you heard that right, we are a 100% volunteer organization, every single one of us. Through the events and initiatives we support and lead, not only focusing on raising funds for our students, but also promoting the culture and traditions of different Spanish-speaking countries. Despite the pandemic we are experiencing, we were still able to execute a successful Hispanic Heritage Month with our first-ever virtual Hispanic Heritage Festival. Our festival held earlier in September, consisted of 3 days and 15 countries represented, showcasing culture, folklore, music, and special guest speakers. In a matter of a few weeks, with everyone’s contributions and desire to serve the community, we were able to make this festival a hit! Participants were able to enjoy music, dance presentations, and learn about different Latin American countries.


Also, earlier this year, we were able to hold our Mujeres de Impacto (Women of Impact) event. This is an opportunity to recognize women who are making a difference in the community. This year, Patricia Ravenhorst, esq., received this recognition. Tricia is a great advocate for the immigrant community in her role as an attorney at South Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (SCCADVASA) and we are so thankful for her service. Congratulations to Tricia!


We are truly thankful for all those in the community who want to serve and create a better future for our Hispanic students. Although we miss gathering in-person, we are amazed at what we can accomplish through technology, vision, creativity and a desire to keep pushing forward!


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