It may come as a surprise to people in other parts of the country that the Midwest, being so far from the coasts and so far from the Rio Bravo, has a robust Latino population. But here, it’s a well-known fact that Chicago has been a city of migrants for more than a century and that the Spanish- and bilingual-speaking demographic is growing to the point of comprising one third of the population. As the calendar marks the start of Hispanic Heritage Month (HHM)—yes I know; the word Hispanic is a misnomer to many, especially due to this next fact—it’s worth noting that it aligns with the independence of various Latin American nations. Independence from whom or what? From its former colonial power, Spain.