By Belle Vang, COSS Communications Student Assistant

Dr. Luis Fernando Macías, Chicano and Latin American Studies (CLAS) Assistant Professor, appreciates the month of highlighting endless Hispanic contributions. 

A life-size replica of Dr. Macías in his Ph.D. gown for his birthday after his graduation.

Although it’s a step in the right direction, Dr. Macías sees National Hispanic Heritage Month (NHHM) as a reminder of all the work that still needs to be done, such as integrating Hispanic contributions into school curricula, policies, and regular practices.

Macías emphasizes the importance for students to be proud of their heritage by preserving traditions and valuing education while having a sense of humor. This is how he recommends students to take an activist approach to make a difference in the community.

He says he enables his students to embrace the Hispanic culture by challenging academics to recognize that Hispanics are a culturally, linguistically, and intellectually rich community.

He grew up on the U.S.-Mexico border after his family moved from Guadalajara, Mexico and remembers the beauty and unique qualities of both places.  He recalls how it felt like its own independent Spanglish-speaking nation at times and felt like it was a place for people to feel comfortable regardless of where they came from.

“Take pride in the long line of people who are as savvy as they are industrious and make your own contribution.”

This is reflected in Dr. Macías’ childhood.  Growing up, Dr. Macías found his personal beacons of culture and heritage through his mother and aunt.  As a child, he loved hearing their stories of growing up with traditions and learning how they passed those along to his family and made it their own by decorating their houses with lively colors and filling the rooms with music on the regular.

Dr. Macías proudly represents his heritage and goes by the quote “queria norte,” translating to embrace the highs and lows of striving for “el sueño americano” (the American dream).   

In this video, Macías tells us what lucha libre and the little “homies” mean to him.