10 The Meaning of Culture and Heritage

Unit Description:
Students will develop a better understanding of the Latino culture and history of the community. They will also examine diversity, prejudice and racism. Additionally, they will complete a cultural project.

Students will develop knowledge and awareness about the Latino culture. They will be able to explain what culture and race is. Students will examine prejudice, racism, stereotyping and diversity.

Latino Culture


Upon the completion of this module, students will be able to:

  • Discuss the meaning of culture and heritage.
  • Debate the concept of Latino as a race or a culture
  • Identify traditions associated with one family holiday.
  • Explore various cultures and diverse groups.
  • Explain different holidays.


The rich cultural traditions of the Hispanic-American community have made a remarkable impact on American society. The diverse backgrounds of Hispanic Americans and their dedication to family have become an integral part of America. With a deep commitment to faith and a strong desire to live the American dream, these citizens are realizing the full blessings of liberty (President Bush for Proclamation of National Hispanic Heritage Month, 2008).


  • Introduction: view the following Youtube videos: What is culture

  • You Tube: Calle 13, LatinoAmerica

  • Questions  and  discussions
  • Study the following definitions: “culture” and “heritage” are:
    • Culture is defined as the attitudes, beliefs and traditions of a particular social or ethnic group.
    • Heritage is the full range of our inherited traditions, monuments, objects, and culture.  Most important, it is the range of contemporary activities, meanings, and behaviors that we draw from them. Heritage includes, but is much more than preserving, excavating, displaying, or restoring a collection of old things.  It is both tangible and intangible, in the sense that ideas and memories--of songs, recipes, language, dances, and many other elements of who we are and how we identify ourselves--are as important as historical buildings and archaeological sites.
  • Write as a homework assignment a journal entry based on the following questions:
    • “When you describe your identity, do you use the term "Latino," your racial background, or your specific national roots? Why?
    • What has caused you to identify in this way?”