This volume is the first in a series of books featuring the finest columns that ran weekly in the Hispanic Link News Service from 1980 to 2013. Each book in the series focuses on a particular topic, and this inaugural book’s topic is holidays celebrated by Latinos in the U.S.Although the topic of holidays might seem less serious than many other issues impacting U.S. Hispanics — such as immigration, employment or education — the subject of holidays is actually an ideal way of gaining a deeper understanding and appreciation of Latinos’ experiences in America. Holidays are profoundly significant because they are how cultural groups reinforce and maintain their sense of identity and unity. This is especially meaningful for immigrants like Latinos, whose separation from their homeland and immersion in a foreign culture put them at great risk of losing their distinctive sense of “we” — especially in a sociocultural system as overwhelming as the United States.As these columns will clearly demonstrate, Latinos love their holidays and are vitally concerned about maintaining them. These holidays remind Latinos of their cultural roots and also help ensure that their children value and carry on these traditions. Without the lessons gained from holidays, immigrants and the children of immigrants can rapidly lose both an appreciation of their cultural heritage; then over time, that heritage can vanish — not with a bang! but like an echo in the wind.