SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Thursday marks the start of Hispanic Heritage Month, and the celebration has already started. People in Springfield are happy to celebrate Latino heritage and come together over the language of dance, one of which is the Salsa.

This salsa party is one of the many events in greater Springfield recognizing Hispanic Heritage Month. On Friday there will be a flag raising on Memorial Square and Sunday, the Puerto Rican Parade.

Juan R. Falcon came to the U.S. when he was seven. He says these events and celebrations helped him to get a better understanding of himself and hopes it does the same for others.

“I think it’s very significant, not only Hispanic Heritage Month, but as an individual in identifying your country of origin or where your parents are from. I think that’s extremely exciting because it brings something to the forefront of the history,” expressed Falcon, the Executive Director of the Hispanic American Library.

Falcon noted he works with the library he founded more than 25 years ago to celebrate Hispanic culture and contributions with arts and language classes and an author series. He also said that even though Hispanic Heritage Month recognizes a certain group of cultures, it acts as a way to bring us together so we can recognize that we are more similar than different.