IDI Newsletter | September 2023

The focus for this month's IDI Newsletter is Hispanic Heritage Month (observed September 15 to October 15) but we also note the dates of other September cultural observances on this page. Hispanic Heritage month celebrates the countless contributions, stories, and experiences of Hispanic and Latinx communities across the United States and beyond. Learn more on social media with the hashtag of the month: #CelebrateHHM!

Please read on for spotlights of two community members, recommended media for students of all ages, details about our HHM Ice Cream Socials, news about CEJA grants for Upper School students, and a chance to weigh in on a timely topic.

Dates of Note

Rosh Hashanah (September 15–17)
Yom Kippur (September 24–25)
Mawlid an-Nabi (September 26)
Mid-Autumn Festival (September 29)
Sukkot (September 29–October 6)

As we observe these cultural celebrations and commemorate National Hispanic Heritage Month, let's come together to learn from one another, promote understanding, and build a stronger, more inclusive school environment!


We are thrilled to introduce a brand-new initiative: the IDI Community Spotlight! This feature shines a light on remarkable individuals within our community who share a deep connection with the cultural heritage we are celebrating. Each month, you can look forward to engaging with the experiences, passions, and talents of our community members through video interviews and insightful profiles. This month, we are honored to present two exceptional individuals who embody the spirit of Hispanic and Latinx heritage.

IDI Video Interview

Claudia Cárdenas, Executive Assistant to the Head of School and Board
Join us as we sit down with Claudia Cárdenas in our IDI Video Interview. Discover why Claudia's heart dances to the rhythm of Baile Folklórico and how her passion for this traditional art form connects her to her roots.

If you enjoyed hearing about Baile Folklórico from Claudia, you can learn more on Corazón Folklórico Dance Company's social media channels (@corazonfolkloricodc on Facebook and Instagram). Some upcoming performances are listed below.

World Culture Festival at National Mall on Sunday; October 1 at 11:45 AM

Latin Dance Fridays at Maryland Youth Ballet; 6:30 PM (folklórico instruction on October 6)

"La Pastorela" performance at Gala Hispanic Theater; December 9 & 10 (tickets on sale soon!)  

IDI Profile 

Ramón Cuevas, Audiovisual and Technology Coordinator
Ramón Cuevas brings his Dominican heritage center stage in his IDI Profile. Read how his cultural background has inspired his journey as a DJ, and learn more about the beats that move his soul.

Mi nombre es Ramón Cuevas y soy de la increíble patria República Dominicana! Soy el I.T especialista para WIS Primary y Tregaron. También soy DJ. Me llamo DJ Pantera! Siempre me ha encantado la música y mi familia siempre se reunían prácticamente todos los fines de semana para tener fiestas. Mi tío, quien me motivó a seguir una carrera como DJ, era DJ en los eventos de la familia. Mi tío me aconsejaba que cogiera sus tocadiscos y empezara a tocar música. Desde entonces, a medida que crecí, compré un equipo de DJ y comencé a tocar para eventos privados. También me motivó mucho a convertirme en DJ mi herencia Dominicana. República Dominicana tiene una amplia variedad de géneros musicales que te harán bailar todo el día. Merengue, Salsa, Bachata, Dembow y Tipico son los géneros que representan a la República Dominicana.

2023 Auction Photo
Para mí, el Mes de la Herencia Hispana es un momento para que la comunidad hispana honre todos sus maravillosos éxitos y viajes a través del tiempo. Independientemente del país hispano de donde seas, la población hispana se une en su conjunto, lo que para mí también simboliza la unidad. Cuando pienso en el Mes de la Herencia Hispana, pienso en Roberto Clemente. Soy un gran fanático del béisbol, y cuando era niño, siempre escuchaba cosas maravillosas sobre Roberto Clemente, todos sus maravillosos logros y lo destacado que era como jugador de béisbol, en general, al convertirse en el primer latino en ser elegido para el Salón de la Fama. Al fin, estoy lanzando la lista de reproducción IDI, que está llena de canciones increíbles que querrás repetir una y otra vez. Esta lista de reproducción incluye mi canción favorita ahora mismo, Calorazo del artista dominicano Bulín 47.

IDI PlaylistS

Thank you to Ramón Cuevas, who has graced us with his extraordinary DJ skills by crafting the very first IDI Playlist!

CLICK HERE to go to the Spotify Play list or open the Spotify App on your phone to scan the code below. Or stay on this page and click the playlist embedded below.

QR Code for Spotify HHM Playlist

NEXT MONTH: Celebrate LGBT+ History Month with Us!

As we gear up to commemorate LGBT+ History Month next month, we're excited to announce the theme for our upcoming IDI Playlist: "Queer Artists from Around the World." And here's the best part – we want YOU to be a part of the playlist creation process! We encourage all of you to submit your favorite queer artists and their tracks for consideration, using the following FORM.


Media Recommendations

Primary School

In Arthur Dorros' Abuela, Rosalba imagines flying over New York City with her much-loved abuela. The young girl uses a lovely mix of English and Spanish to describe their journey, moving from the busy streets of Manhattan to the Statue of Liberty. Brightly colored illustrations detail what Rosalba and her grandmother glimpse as they fly. Ages 3 - 6

Middle School 

"Vivo" is a fun animated movie about a musical kinkajou's journey from Cuba to Miami. It's available to watch on Netflix. 

Upper School

5 TED talks by Hispanic and Latino speakers

TED Talk by Gabby Rivera: The story of Marvel's first queer Latina superhero.

HHM Ice Cream Social: A Flavorful Celebration

 In honor of this special month, Mount Desert Island Ice Cream has crafted an ice cream menu inspired by the vibrant flavors of Latino cuisine.

Mount Desert Island Ice Cream will be coming to WIS at the following days and times to serve their HHM-inspired treats:

  • TREGARON: October 4 & 5 (Wednesday & Thursday) at lunch
  • PRIMARY SCHOOL: October 11 (Wednesday), 12:30 - 1:30 PM
  • PRIMARY SCHOOL: October 12 (Thursday), 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Staff and students will have the opportunity to taste the amazing creations described below and learn more about the culinary inspiration behind them.

Jamaica (Hibiscus): Savor the refreshing blend of hibiscus tea with a hint of lime. It's a delightful and tangy water-based sorbet—made of hibiscus, lime, and sugar—that captures the essence of the Caribbean.

Alfajor: Indulge in the flavors of South America with this creation inspired by the dulce de leche sandwich cookie. Cookie pieces, dulce de leche, and toasted coconut are swirled into a dulce de leche base, creating a symphony of sweetness.

Churro: Dive into the world of churros with a churro-steeped ice cream base, cinnamon churro pieces, and a velvety vanilla custard swirl. It's a warm and comforting embrace in every scoop.


Applications are open to all US students for the 2023-24 Community Equity and Justice Award (CEJA)!

The CEJA supports social justice and equity initiatives at WIS. Each year, members of the Upper School community are invited to apply for the CEJA, which underwrites projects—particularly those which establish multi-year partnerships with local groups—that raise awareness about social inequities and injustices in the Washington, DC area. Awardees are granted between $200-$400 to complete their project. Students can apply HERE by October 20.

Supporting Transgender Youth

WIS received information about a federal appeals court case challenging Tennessee's ban on gender-affirming care for minors.

Skadden, a leading global law firm, is offering pro bono legal support for this cause. Sean Madden, a Director at GRACE, a nonprofit focused on reversing anti-transgender policies and narratives in the US, is seeking interested parents to join in the effort.

Your participation would entail sharing your personal experiences and insights through a confidential questionnaire. No child's name will ever be disclosed. The goal is to demonstrate that parents, who are directly affected by these policies, are responsible individuals who have made well-informed decisions about their children's care.

Anyone interested in participating, or who has additional questions, may contact Aldaine Wynter (

As we wrap up this edition of our IDI newsletter, we hope you feel inspired and engaged by the initiatives, stories, and celebrations we've shared. In the spirit of unity and understanding, let's continue to champion international-mindedness, diversity, and inclusion not only in the WIS community, but among all those around us. Thank you for being a part of our journey, and until next time, let's keep making a difference, one step at a time!