Addison Trail students celebrate start of National Hispanic Heritage Month with Guatemalan Independence Day Parade

On Sept. 11, nine Addison Trail students traveled to Chicago with Addison Trail English Learner (EL) reading teacher Maria DiNovo to participate in the Guatemalan Independence Day Parade in Albany Park.

Although the event was canceled because of inclement weather, the group had a wonderful visit and enjoyed lunch in the city. Addison Trail was invited to attend by York High School and planned to march in the parade with students from York and Fenton high schools.

National Hispanic Heritage Month takes place annually from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. According to, “Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month … by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.” It began in 1968 and was originally observed as “Hispanic Heritage Week” under President Lyndon Johnson, but was later extended to a month during President Ronald Reagan’s term in 1988.

Sept. 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on Sept. 16 and 18, respectively. 

The Addison Trail students who participated in the field trip are enrolled in the school’s English Learner (EL) 1 and 2 classes. District 88 has about 40 languages and more than 30 countries represented among its families, and more than half of the nearly 2,000 students at Addison Trail speak more than one language. District 88’s core values include fostering an inclusive environment and a sense of belonging, where all students, staff and community members feel safe, valued, respected and welcome – regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity.