Hispanic Heritage Month in Castle Rock

An Interview with Latino CV Students


“Is it possible without being criticized?”

Adan Jimenez Quintero wondered aloud when I asked him and his friend how he preserves his culture in Castle Rock.

“You know how some people are. They judge you just because you speak Spanish,” Jimenez said.

Jimenez, a sophomore doing e-learning this year at Castle View, has lived in Castle Rock all his life. His parents are from Toluca, Mexico, and he is part of the largest minority group in our high school and town. According to the US Census Bureau and Public School Review, 10% of Castle Rock is Hispanic, as well as 14% of CV students. Hispanic Heritage Month runs from September 15th through October 15th and is dedicated to Latino accomplishments in American history. 

“I didn’t know it existed,” Jimenez said. “I had no idea.”

His friend, who prefers to remain anonymous, agreed.

“The way that most people preserve their culture in a really anti-cultural place would be by just doing them and just being themselves,” said Anonymous.

Castle Rock is 84% non-Hispanic white, and they feel that being Latinx is difficult in a community like that.

“There’s no Mexican food up here, except for Guadalajara and Carlos Miguel’s,” they said.

“Every Hispanic is whitewashed,” Jimenez said.

The word “whitewashed” can be taken as a compliment or an insult. However, Jimenez and his friend were talking about someone who has assimilated in white, American culture for the worse.

“They’re denying the fact that they’re Hispanic, thinking they’re this person that they’re not,” he said.

Then they explained why people want to do this.

“To fit in,” Jimenez said.

Anonymous elaborated on why people deny being Hispanic.

“It’s not something you want, it’s something you do just to fit in when you’re like, damn, I want to be their friend. I think because most of the population is white, it just overcomes them. I feel like Mexicans are so insecure about their race and what they are because of what people put out there in the world, and they feel so ashamed of what they are so they want to fit in,” they said.

Other Hispanic students at Castle View, like sophomore Janeth Tellez Hernández, celebrate their heritage despite scorn.

“I’m proud of being Latina because of our beautiful culture and just how we Latina women support each other,” she said.

Helen Rosell, who is a senior and is Cuban, also feels this way.

The best part about being Latina is the warmth and care all of us Latinos have for each other. We’re very family-oriented and friendly people,” said Rosell.

“I love everything about my culture. I’m proud to be Hispanic and there’s nothing that would make me ashamed of it,” Jimenez said.