Why is Hispanic literature a legacy for future generations?
By Pilar Vélez
Often, when we refer to the word inheritance, we think about material goods that pass on to the family when one dies. However, there is an invaluable non-materialistic legacy in each human being that goes beyond the immediate circle of the people that surround us and know us. It’s that footprint that we leave in each action of our lives, in who we are and our beliefs. Our legacy reflects the heap of experiences, relationships, values, achievements and principles that left a mark on us and that, without a doubt, have affected others without us noticing. Without that sense of transcendence, humankind would lose the meaning of life. An essential piece of our legacy is the Spanish language and, therefore, literature and oral tradition. The language is a vehicle of communication by which we transmit our traditions, the values and the cultural wealth of our people.
To speak of inheritance is to talk about life, about the legacy we received from those who preceded us, about what we live in the present and about what we will build for the future. Susan V. Bosak, the co-founder of Legacy Project, illustrates it perfectly: “Where do you think it’s best to plant a young tree: a clearing in an old-growth forest or an open field? Ecologists tell us that a young tree grows better when it’s planted in an area with older trees. The reason: it seems that the roots of the young tree are able to follow the pathways created by former trees and implant themselves more deeply. Over time, the roots of many trees may actually graft themselves to one another, creating an intricate, interdependent foundation hidden under the ground.” In this beautiful explanation, we can visualize how nature acts intelligently; it shares resources and renews itself. We understand the heritage of Hispanic literature in the same way. What we have today is the result of those roots interconnected in space and time, preserving themselves so that when the young trees arrive, they find a forest that will shelter them and become their cradle so that they can, in turn, grow and multiply, with the responsibility of that legacy.
Hispanic Heritage Literature Organization is aware of the importance of its mission in safeguarding the preservation of the language and its wealth, by supporting literature written in our language, so that this legacy accumulated from experience does not get lost and continues its path of growth. Every action we take has a purpose of life and unity. We link together arts and human resource management in favor of education, culture, inclusion, and diversity. We support as much as possible, the communities that speak other languages so that they can also establish organizations that contribute to the promotion and dissemination of their artistic and cultural values.
Our work team is comprised of Goodwill Ambassadors, who join this initiative from different parts of the world. The majority are writers, professors, and community leaders, who wish to contribute their experience and intellectual capacity in benefit of the community.
To achieve our projects we need the support of organizations that work in favor of cultural and humane advancement, including the artistic and cultural trades, and public and private companies. Our efforts merit the solidarity of Hispanic writers since the literary work is the engine that propels and feeds our existence as an organization.