Hispanic Heritage Month

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Did you know that September 15 to October 15 is Hispanic Heritage Month? It’s unique and interesting that the “month” runs from the middle of one month to the middle of another, rather than for a calendar month. But really, that’s very fitting because Hispanic Heritage itself is unique and interesting.

Most of WM Law’s staff are native Spanish speakers, so we find ourselves helping Spanish-speaking clients with a wide variety of legal matters. Our main practice areas are bankruptcy, estate planning, and probate, but when a Spanish-speaking client comes to us for help with a problem outside our areas of expertise, we’ll oftentimes take them on as a client because they may have nowhere else to turn to for assistance in the Kansas City area due to the language barrier.

Although they share a common trait of the Spanish language, these clients are incredibly diverse. I truly enjoy visiting with our clients and asking about their backgrounds. The Spanish culture was spread throughout the world during the Age of Exploration, and each country mixed its own native culture with the Spanish culture to create a unique set of traditions and dialects. For example, even though they share a border that is 3,300 miles long, Chile and Argentina have significantly different cultures. Larger Spanish-speaking nations, such as Mexico, have significant regional differences within their country. So, “Hispanic Heritage” is tremendously diverse.

One common thread I’ve noticed, other than language, is that Hispanic culture is very family oriented. Family relationships are incredibly important and close relationships are maintained well outside the nuclear family. Hispanic Heritage is also very hospitable – visitors are nearly always greeted with a beverage and food immediately upon arrival at the home. The food may vary depending on the country, but the custom of offering food and drink to visitors seems universal. In that vein, we have had 2 Hispanic Heritage lunches here at WM Law where staff members prepared food from their homeland for the rest of the law firm. The first week was traditional Mexican food, and it wasn’t what you normally find in a Mexican restaurant. Until that lunch, I had no idea that “mole” is made with chocolate. This week is food from South America and Spain, which will be very different. For example, Spanish food is flavored with mild spices, nothing like some of the hot Mexican or Tex-Mex food we eat here in the US. It’s been a lot of fun here at WM Law and we hope you join us in celebrating Hispanic Heritage month. And if you need us, remember that we are “Aqui para ayudar.” Our website is www.kansascitybankruptcy.com and our telephone number is 913-422-0909. Happy Hispanic Heritage Month!!

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Jeffrey L. Wagoner

President

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