Skip to main content

Google Doodle Kicks Off Latin American Heritage Month By Celebrating Labor Activist

Go to Google's homepage and check out the amazing Guatemalan artwork!

Luisa Moreno, wearing a white shirt and a short bobbed haircut, leans out of a balcony in a black and white photo.

I personally really look forward to the Google doodles. They always seem to be creatively done and highlight important figures in history. Latin American Heritage Month is a nationally designated time that runs between September 15th and October 15th. To kick off this celebration, Google is using their famous doodle on their homepage to highlight Luisa Moreno. She was a very impactful and prominent Guatemalan-American organizer in the labor movement. 

Moreno was born in Guatemala City in 1907. Her family immigrated to Oakland, CA when she was a child, but she moved back to her home country as a teenager. A big passion of hers early on was education. Women in Guatemala at the time she returned were not able to go to university, so Moreno organized a group to lobby for women’s rights to higher education. She would go on to write a poetry book before moving to New York City in 1928. While working as a seamstress during the Great Depression, she saw things that were troubling, including bad working conditions. She joined the American Federation of Labor in 1935 as a professional organizer. In 1938, she founded the National Congress of Spanish-Speaking Peoples, which became the first national Latino civil rights assembly. In 1941, she was elected vice president of the United Cannery, Agricultural, Packing and Allied Workers of America.

As is the case with far too many who chose to speak out for justice, Moreno was threatened with deportation unless she testified against other union leaders. She refused, and returned to Latin America. Her courage here should be celebrated, as it could have been easy to do what she was told and to keep the life that she knew in New York. But she kept fighting for what she believed was right. After that, she continued to organize in countries like Mexico, Cuba, and her native Guatemala. She is an important voice in the history of labor organizing and for being a Latin American icon. She was certainly not taught to me throughout my entire education. I would bet she wasn’t taught to most people reading this either. So I am glad Google has made her their doodle, because so many people have never even heard of her. Importantly, the doodle artwork was done by a Guatemalan artist named Juliet Mendez. This is a good example of why diversity is so important and actually cool!

(featured image: public domain / National Museum of American History)

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

Filed Under:

Follow The Mary Sue: