BOISE, Idaho — Hispanic Heritage Month is all about celebrating the people who are taking strides in uplifting the culture.
JJ Saldaña, who serves on the Idaho Commission on Hispanic Affairs as a Community Resource Development Specialist, continues to do just that for the Hispanic and Latino culture in Idaho.
Idaho Commission on Hispanic Affairs provides services to the Hispanic community and government entities.
Saldaña and his team continue to work toward economic, educational, and social equality.
"We are a state agency that works under the governor's office. So, our agency strives to be the eyes and ears on the Latino population for the governor. We are the clearinghouse to all data when it comes to our population in the state," Saldaña said.
One of the biggest projects Saldaña focuses on is the Hispanic Youth Summit.
The Hispanic Youth Summit is a program that focuses on building leadership and preparing students for higher education. He says the program focuses on STEM careers and prep courses.
Another event they host is a Día de Los Muertos Panel where they will be educating the community on the background of the day.
Día de los Muertos is a holiday celebrated to honor and remember the dead by creating traditional dishes and alters.
Saldaña said it is important to have these events to connect the general population with knowledge about the Hispanic and Latino population.
“I just love working with the community. I love being the connector. I feel like that is my role it's connecting people," Saldana said.
On top of everything else, Saldaña is the co-host of the award-winning radio show and podcast, The Latino Card.
The podcast breaks down the stories that are making headlines in Idaho from the Latino perspective.
"We are uplifting Latino stories and different Latinos that are coming to the state that are doing great work. We do a lot of news, but we give it a Latino perspective," Saldaña told KTVB.
He added that his goal is to continue to connect with the community and provide important information to the Latino population in Idaho.