Celebrating AAPI Heritage Month Teresita Gutierrez, LMHC | Director of School Counseling
Belen Jesuit will be celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month this May. This national celebration was initiated in 1978 and then extended to the full month of May in 1992 by Congress. The month of May was chosen to celebrate AAPI Heritage as it coincides with 2 important events: the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants to the United States in 1843 and the contributions of over 15,000 Chinese workers that helped construct the transcontinental railroad in 1869. There are 48 Asian countries in our world and the United States is home to approximately 18.6 million Asian Americans. (Federal Asian Pacific American Council FAPAC)
Belen is excited to promote and recognize the many ways that Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have contributed to the history, society, culture, and sciences in our world. Additionally, there are countless Asian Catholic saints, Jesuits and missionaries that were sent to Asian countries. Their lives and impact on our faith have been essential in promoting our universal church. As the month of May is also dedicated to Mary, Belen will be highlighting beautiful images of Our Lady as she is depicted in several Asian countries. Keep an eye out for these posts on the school social media pages.
Belen Jesuit is planning several activities throughout this month including showcasing Asian food in our dining hall each week and offering resources and cultural experiences to our students facilitated by our Diversity Advisory Panel (DAP), Mrs. Chuang and the students in her 5 Mandarin Chinese Language classes. Most importantly, we will be honoring the legacy of our beloved teacher and Belen parent, the late Mrs. Hsiao Chi Chiu, by participating in several service projects with the organizations she cared deeply about and loved to serve.
“Unity grows along the way, it never stands still. Unity happens when we walk together.” Pope Francis
Belen Jesuit Preparatory School was founded in 1854 in Havana, Cuba by Queen Isabel II of Spain. The task of educating students was assigned to the priests and brothers of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits), whose teaching tradition is synonymous with academic excellence and spiritual discipline. In 1961, the new political regime of Cuba confiscated the School property and expelled the Jesuit faculty. The School was re-established in Miami the same year, and over the next decade, continued to grow. Today, Belen Jesuit sits on a 30-acre site in western Dade County, only minutes away from downtown Miami.