Hispanic Heritage Month: Faces of Joy

Inspired by minority-based organization Latinos Run, Honey Stinger is honoring Hispanic Heritage Month. From September 15th through October 15th, many countries in Latin America (including El Salvador, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Mexico, and Chile) celebrate the anniversary of their independence. Hispanic Heritage Month is a time to recognize the vast historical and cultural influence and contributions of Hispanic Americans.

What does this look like? For the more than 25,000 members of Latinos Run, it looks like running. Running on the streets, on the trails, in the parks, and at the gyms—all the places, historically, we’ve not seen Latinos run before. Look when you see this because it’s both trailblazing and real.

Running in the US, especially long-distance running, has been a predominantly Caucasian sport (approximately 90%). As a result, Latinos Run founder Maria Solis Belizaire, who loved running as a kid, grew up thinking running wasn’t accessible for her. “People emulate what they see. If they don’t see themselves in places or positions, they won’t realize a desire to participate,” Maria says. “Media representation has excluded Hispanic runners, but the image of running should be as diverse as our country is.”

Maria’s mission is inclusivity within the running world. She believes running needs to be a safe place for everyone, and her efforts have gained traction since the organization’s inception in 2016. The 2020 murder of Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old black man running in his own neighborhood in Georgia, shed light on challenges all minorities face with something as simple as running, and it also changed how people perceived and approached Latinos Run. “Individuals and companies actively acknowledged we were here and began reaching out,” Maria said.

Running reflects the work we need to do for social justice and equity. There are barriers to running related to employment. Many Latinos have jobs or multiple jobs as essential employees and can’t easily train for long distances. Language can be a barrier to joining running clubs and registering for events, and there are other cultural forces that inhibit Latino participation. “Many Latinos live in multi-generational households and a lot of us do things together as a family,” Maria explains. “When we all go to a race, paying for travel and hotels gets expensive.”

Maria also points to food choices, eating habits, and health statistics as factors that don’t readily align with what the sport of running has traditionally been. “Many of us show love through serving big meals, and we tend to eat foods that aren’t consistent with fitness training.” Maria’s goals for Latinos Run include bringing awareness to health issues and statistics within the Latino community (like the prevalence of diabetes) and empowering lifestyle changes.

Especially during Hispanic Heritage Month, it’s evident that running is not all work and no play. It’s joyous, energetic, and fun. Kids and families of various ethnicities are participating all over the US in Latinos Run virtual and in-person 5Ks. Many run with their country’s flag, and they run with pride. You can see it in their faces.

Maria is a firm believer that what we do echoes through generations. This means that, through her work with Latinos Run, the face of running has already changed to inspire future generations of athletes. Honey Stinger, a proud Silver Sponsor of Latinos/Latinas Run Hispanic Heritage Month, is thrilled to be part of something big.

To sign up for Latinos Run Hispanic Heritage Month 5K Run and Walk, visit:

All are welcome to join, and registration is free with the option to purchase event swag.