Welcome to Wiser Now’s weekly email blast which reflects my eclectic interests and, I hope, yours. September 15 - October 15 is Hispanic Heritage Month. Today celebrates Mexico’s Independence from Spain (Cinco de Mayo celebrates Mexico’s independence from France in 1862), and yesterday marked the 1821 Independence Day for Costa Rico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Party on!

I hope you are finding these offerings fun, and perhaps even useful, and I welcome your feedback. ( And if you haven’t yet pressed the subscribe button so this newsletter doesn’t go to spam, please do so now.


The Quotable Quote
"The Latina in me is an ember that blazes forever."
~ Sonia Sotomayor

The Quirky Fact

Just as Americans celebrate their Independence Day when they declared their intent but more than seven years before it was formally won from England, Mexicans celebrate their independence from Spain on September 16, 1810 when Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, a well-loved Catholic priest, issued his Grito de Dolores calling for a revolution that was still 11 years away from being won.

The Quirky Observation

Americans are appallingly egocentric and tend to know little of the history of our neighbors either north or south of us. For example, Canada had only become an English (rather than French) colony in 1763 – just 13 years before what was to become the United States declared its independence from England.

As for Mexico, when its revolution against the Spanish began in 1810, it had been under their rule for almost 300 years – since the ambitious Hernán Cortés arrived in Mexico with 500 Spanish soldiers in 1521 to conquer the Aztec empire.

See Resources to learn more. Hispanic heritage is so much more than piñatas, sombreros, and guacamole! On the other hand, if you think these plant or place markers are as cute as I do, you can learn to make them here.

The Question
Are you bilingual or even multi-lingual? Congratulations! That is very good for your brain as you can learn here and here.

Featured Product
I hope that you can tell from each Wiser Now Wednesday that I aim to make learning fun. Both lightheartedness and practical, instantly usable information are the foundation of my customized, online training webinars. Please contact me at if you have a staff development need and would like more information.

The Quiz 
While too few of us are bilingual, we do know many Spanish words, although according to this website, many words we consider Spanish in origin have Arabic roots (from the time the Moors ruled Spain) or are adaptations of words from the indigenous and Caribbean cultures during the 300 years of Spanish settlement of the New World. This quiz is excerpted from a longer quiz that is available here.

1. Many birds and animals from alligators to ocelots have names of Spanish origin. Which one of the following does not? ___
  1. canary
  2. cattle
  3. condor
  4. coyote

2. Which weather phenomenon is not a word of Spanish origin? ___
  1. breeze
  2. hurricane
  3. rain
  4. tornado

3. Which geographic description is not a word of Spanish origin? ___
  1. canyon
  2. key (meaning island)
  3. savanna
  4. volcano
4. Which architectural feature is not a word of Spanish origin? ___
  1. alcove
  2. balcony
  3. cabana
  4. patio
5. Which article of clothing is not a word of Spanish origin? ___
  1. barong (embroidered shirt)
  2. chaps
  3. poncho
  4. sombrero
6. Which music-related word is not a word of Spanish origin? ___
  1. mariachi
  2. rumba
  3. serenade
  4. tango

Answers at the end of this document.

The Shameless Request

Please share Wiser Now Wednesday with anyone you think might be interested, and if you represent an organization that would like a customized version, please send me a note at

The Kiosk of Resources

My multiple goals are to amuse and inspire you, to share what I and people whom I admire am doing, to stimulate your curiosity and spur you to action. I hope you enjoyed this offering. You can access previous issues here. We welcome your feedback. (
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Copyright (c) 2019 Kathy Laurenhue | All rights reserved.

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