KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — National Hispanic Heritage Month 2022 is well underway and some believe there are many factors determining whether a person is Latinx or Hispanic.

“It’s a culture full of color, full of happiness, full of noise,” Jacquelinne Padilla said.

“I love that it doesn’t matter what country I’m from, although I’m Honduran, I’ll meet people from any country in Latin America and here in the States we’re all family, it’s ‘familia,'” Centro Hispano de East Tennessee President and CEO Claudia Caballero said.

She continued, “Even though we’re rivals in football (soccer) in our own countries, once we’re here we really stick together.”

Hispanic Heritage Month began as Hispanic Heritage Week in 1968 but President Ronald Regan expanded the celebration to a full month in 1988.

“A big part that makes us proud of where we come from is not just our families and not just our heritage, but the people that work there and the people who live there give you a completely different perspective on what you have here and the blessings you can have here,” Carlos Amaya said.

The events help the community share histories, cultures and contributions from different countries.

“It’s more about learning about a person and not their labels first so I always recommend that,” Caballero said. “Getting to know the person because you want to know them. It’s about bridging our community with the rest of Knox County, and we have folks from all over from the industries, from universities, the school systems, elected officials, community leaders that want to learn more about us or want to understand or just want to have some great food and we’re here for all of that.”

Padilla added, “Being here, I’m feeling more proud about my roots, my food, the traditions, and other things that make me Hispanic.”