Sociedad Honoraria Hispanica

Commemorating and giving back to the Hispanic heritage


Contributed by Theresa Jensen

Noah Sacco, Staff Writer

Roberto Clemente. Carlos Santana. Cesar Chavez. These are just a few of the many Hispanic Americans that have made an influence on our society. Hispanic Heritage Month is a time of recognition for minorities in the U.S. From Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, the United States commemorates the Hispanic and Latino Americans’ contributions to their culture and heritage. One of the organizations that proudly shows this appreciation is the Sociedad Honoraria Hispanica, or Spanish Honors Society (SHH).

The SHH chapter at MN embraces the idea of giving back to the Hispanic community as well as spreading its culture to other areas in the Metro. Some of the service projects they perform include volunteering at the Countryside Community Church food pantry, the South Omaha library, and running Spanish clubs at local elementary schools.

“I volunteer at the Children’s Hospital, and often times I come into contact with many Spanish-speaking families. Hearing their stories and playing with the children has been very memorable, especially since I’m one of the few volunteers who speaks spanish. Additionally, I’ve worked at Texas Roadhouse where there are many Latinos in the kitchen. During the several weeks of working, I bonded with the staff and truly realized how hard they must work in order to provide for their families,” junior SHH member Alex Suh said.

When they’re not performing community service, the SHH displays their admiration of Hispanic heritage throughout MN. The organization raises awareness by creating posters that are located in the hallways, running a video on the Mustang News Network, and even doing trivia during lunch on Fridays in order to educate students about this celebration of Latino heritage.

With Hispanic and Latino heritage present in our society, the culture has made some lasting impacts in SHH and the community.

“Many SHH members didn’t really know about the culture before joining the organization. As the students became more involved, it has gotten them to learn more about the culture and really become aware of the level of heritage that there is in the United States and throughout the Metro,” Spanish teacher and SHH sponsor Theresa Jensen said.

Senior Helen Whetstine, president of SHH, values her time spent in the Sociedad Honoraria Hispanica. She especially enjoys interacting with people in the Hispanic and Latino areas during her community service.

“I can really focus on my Spanish skills and I can employ them as I better myself through community service. Learning Spanish and being involved in the Latino community truly opens doors, and I have had so many rich experiences because of it,” Whetstine said.

In addition to the community, SHH members are impacted by the Hispanic culture throughout the world. Whetstine was affected on a personal level by the Hispanic heritage. Last winter, she traveled to Costa Rica and worked to rebuild a community center in Ostional, a small town off the west coast of the country.

“It was so inspiring to meet such kind people. When I returned to the United States, I was able to connect with other Costa Ricans who live in the US,” Whetstine said.

Though this recognition of Hispanic and Latino heritage in the United States is only for one month, the SHH organization continues to recognize their contributions to their heritages throughout the year.

“I have gotten the privilege to learn more about the Hispanic people that live in Omaha. The best thing about SHH is the connections that can be made within the school, but more importantly, the connections that can be made within the community through the Spanish-speaking population in Omaha,” junior SHH member Abhinav Jaddu said.