I’m not going to lie. My eyes teared up a bit and my heart was warmed while researching the thousands of Latinx grad caps women and men created to celebrate their college graduation. It’s inspiring to see how many of these grads took a moment to thank their families for their sacrifice, love, and support. They also used it as an opportunity to show pride for their heritage, their identity, and their countries. Instead of celebrating individual wins, it is a win for communities everywhere, and for Latinxs as a whole.
With so much negativity in the world today, we need moments like these, where we can look at the amazing things Latinxs are accomplishing every day. More of us are attending and graduating from college, so let’s celebrate that together. Here are 30 of the most beautiful, heart-warming, and Latinx orgullo inducing grad caps from the class of 2019.
Con La Ayuda de Dios y Mis Padres
The first fabulous Latinx grad cap we will be looking at is emotional right out the gate. Jacqueline Lopez, who graduated from Stanislaus State, took the time and effort to shout out both God and her parents, and mention that she was able to complete her studies with their help. The sweet sentiment is surrounded by pretty roses, a sunflower, and a monarch butterfly — the symbol of migration. According to her Instagram caption, Lopez has won and is ready to win some more.
“I’m ready for another super memorable day this week?”
Yo Soy Los Sueños Salvajes de Mis Ancestros. / I Am My Ancestors’ Wildest Dreams
salvajes de mis ancestros.” It is a nod to the women and men who came before us, and how they fought so that we could dream big and achieve big things. This fab grad cap was made by artist mi chiquita, tmf (@michiquitatmf) for Mauricio, who graduated from Loyola Marymount.
When Afro-Mexican-Puerto Rican Miranda Ynez graduated from Claremont Graduate University, she celebrated by donning a loteria-style grad cap. The biggest image on the Millenial Loteria hat? La Graduada, of course.
“Made it home in time to graduate with my Masters in Arts Management ????♀️✨ Felicidades to all the brown graduates this year! Keep fighting and pushing towards your goals coz the best way to predict your future is to create it ✊? #cgugrad #BrownsCHOLAr #latinxgradcaps”
A Veces Lloré, a Veces Dudé, Pero Nunca Me Rajé”
Our faith is a large part of what gives us the confidence and encouragement to push ourselves to achieve new, amazing things. Jessica G. of Jessica’s Paper Craft created this pretty Latinx grad cap that showcases La Virgen de Guadalupe, with the words “At times I cried, at times I doubted, but I never gave up/backed out/chickened out.” This UC Merced grad makes us all proud, like some extended family Latinx tias!
No Hay Que Llegar Primero Pero Hay Que Saber Llegar
We are all not going to graduate in four years or do everything the same way when we go to college, but all that matters is that we go and complete our studies. This Latinx grad cap for a San Jose State University graduate, brings the sentiment home, stating, “you don’t have to get there first, but you have to know how to get there” (lyrics from Vicente Fernandez’s “El Rey”).
Immigrant Parents, with Their Wings Cut, Still Teach Their Hijos to Fly!
This particular Latinx grad cap is amazing for three reasons. One, it features the flowers and migrant monarch butterflies that speak to our culture. Second, it shouts out women, and particularly Latinas in STEM. And third, it speaks to the immense sacrifices Latinx parents and families make so that we can win: “immigrant parents, with their wings cut, still teach their kids to fly!!!”
“As most LATINX students once hear, “maybe you aren’t good enough…” – for 4 years every time I’d fail these words screamed and shut every other voice down into my head. But from now on, las voces de mi familia y ancestros will prevail, “SI SE PUDO!” – to all the LATINX Womyn in STEM, this is not an easy road, but one worth fighting for!! #latinxgradcaps #WomynInStem #ltagrad #latinxgrads “ @niqquhchuii”
Hoy Nuestro Sueño Florece
Diana Covarrubias may joke that her grad cap was left for the last minute “just like everything I did in college,” but all that matters is that she finished it, and her education! As her hat states, “today our dream flowers;” Diana graduating from San Jose State University was no doubt a seed that she and her family planted and nurtured for several years.
“As a first generation college student this is for my family who sacrificed everything to come to a new country for something better. Nuestro sueño poco a poco está floreciendo ?#latinxgradcaps”
La Lucha Sigue
Graduating college with a bachelors degree isn’t the end of the journey, but rather a new beginning. You are now armed with an education and knowledge that will prepare you for the next phase in your life. @tommyiboss5 brings the point home with her Latinx grad cap, which reads “la lucha sigue,” and features a WOC power fist and a migrant monarch butterfly.
“Finally graduated! It was a long hard year but I completed this year with all b’s, a year ahead of my associates, certified in food, nutrition and wellness, got my seal of biliteracy all while learning about policy change and kicking ass at D.C.! Tlazocamati to creator and my ancestors for bringing me to where I am today ❤️ #latinxgradcaps”
Orgullosa de Donde Vine y Donde Voy
Where you’re from, molds who you become. Laura Diana gets this and takes the opportunity to shout out her Peruvian ethnicity on her dope Latinx grad cap. Above a depiction of Macchu Picchu, are the words “proud of where I came from and where I’m going.”
“Being bilingual and bicultural, this has two personal meanings for me. Proud of my Peruvian culture and how it has shaped me into the person I am today. But also proud of how I surpassed my own mental struggles to get to this moment. Now that I’m in a better place than I have ever been before, I’m heading towards a career path that is completely unknown to me. Which is terrifying. But exciting. Without the love and support of my family, this would not be possible. Can’t wait to continue moving forward and manifesting my dreams. ✨”
Con Amor Por Nosotrxs
When one of us wins, we all win. Cynthia Alonso dedicated her Latinx grad cap to La Virgen de Guadalupe, as well as her peeps, saying her educational success is “con amor por nosotrxs.” Each person who attends college and graduates lifts us all up — we are one big community.
“En las palabras de @brownbadassbonita “…I learned I could use my voz pa’ mi raza, mi vida pa’ mi raza!” ✊?? Made it to Teotihuacán and had to bring my cap with me. CON AMOR POR NOSOTRXS❤️ #always”
Soy Capaz, Soy Fuerte, Soy Invencible, Soy Mujer
Here’s another Latinx grad cap that might make your eyes a bit misty. When Pebbles Lopez graduated from CSU Northridge, she declared “this accomplishment wasn’t just mine, but also theirs,” and showed photos of her in cap and gown, surrounded by her happy family. Pebbles’ hat read “soy capaz, soy fuerte, soy invencible, soy mujer” (I am capable, I am strong, I am invincible, I am woman). We are so for these amazing feminist words emblazoned over the Mexican flag. Yes!
You may not recognize the words on this great Latinx grad cap, but the sentiment is something we all feel, or strive to. When Peruana Sandy Enriquez graduated from college in New York, she had two golden words on her cap, surrounded by flowers: “sinchi warmi.” This means “strong woman” in Quechua, an indigenous language spoken in Peru, and other South American countries. We are loving how she repped, and brought attention and shine, to her indigenous identity during such an important day and after such a major accomplishment!
Empowered Women Empower Women
Latinx grad caps are all about celebrating who you are, while also dropping knowledge and facts. Like this pretty yet powerful cap made for Bree Godoy, for when she graduated from Fresno State University. A fierce feminine fist is shown inside the female sign, surrounded by the words “empowered women empower women.” It’s when you realize that other women aren’t your competition, that there is room for us all at the top. We can and should help each other make it there faster. That’s when you are truly empowered. Pass it on, mi’jas!
No Estudio Para Saber Mas, Sino Para Ignorar Menos
When Crystal Lemus graduated from Fresno State University, her grad cap (that she made herself!) let everyone know how she felt about her education. On top of the hat, it reads “I don’t study to know more, but to ignore less,” a quote from Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz. It’s true, education opens up your eyes to things that have happened, and are happening all over the world. It arms you with knowledge, which in turns helps to diminish ignorance.
How Could I Not Soar When My Immigrant Mother Believed I Could Fly?
When your mami believes in you, it seems there’s nothing you can’t do. This sentiment was echoed in Kelsey G Barillas’ Latinx grad cap. She emblazoned on it a Spanish quote she created: “How could I not soar when my immigrant mother believed I could fly?” Our moms often believe in us before we do, and that love and support allows us to live up to our true potential.
When Mexico Sends Its People
When Mexico sends its people to the U.S., this country gets people who want to be successful, focus on family, and don’t mind working hard to achieve their dreams and goals. That’s why @intergenerationalstealth placed the words “when Mexico sends it’s people to the U.S.” on her grad cap.
“My mother never had the opportunity to go to high school. Her mother never had the opportunity to learn to read. Six internships and one year of Wagner’s MPA program later, today I graduated from New York University.”
They Immigrated So I Graduated
We wouldn’t have all the opportunities we have now if our parents didn’t immigrate to the United States. There is nothing more appreciative and amazing than acknowledging that. When Alma Garcia graduated, her grad cap read “they migrated so I graduated.” It’s great that we aren’t taking these opportunities to thank our parents with our achievements.
[Graduates in Spanish]
You just have to have some funny Latinx pop culture moments in the Latinx grad caps mix. This one by @fresaemoji features the classic Itati-Cantoral-as-Soraya-Montenegro meme, only this time it reads “graduates in Spanish.” Because we do that too.
“@fresaemoji “I’ve always thought of years as school years. You say 2014 and i’m lost, tell me freshman year and it’s clear as day. This school year* was challenging af but I grew tremedously and it was very rewarding. I had to keep reminding myself that the only way out is THROUGH! I remember when an old high school math teacher told me I wouldn’t graduate high school on time, but here I am! 22, first gen????, with a B.A. in Spanish language & culture from CSUN with honors. #SiSePudo #latinxgradcaps ??”
Con La Fortaleza de Las Mujeres Antes de Mi
If you are a strong Latina woman, chances are it’s because of the other strong Latina women in your family. Their strength runs through your veins, is part of your DNA, and is taught to you through direct lessons, stories, and witnessing how they accomplished and overcame so much. That is why we are such a fan of @thy_noble_savage’s grad cap for her Cal State Fullerton graduation. It reads “with the strength of the women before me.”
“So I’ve waited till My Day to actually post serious pictures because somehow it still doesn’t feel real… I’ve worked endless days for the last 5years for this and somehow it is still surreal. This is the product of my mother. Everything I am is her. But I also want to thank my village real quick and y’all know who you for loving me, understanding my struggle, and supporting my hustle! Thank you all?” #latinxgradcaps”
Believe in the Beauty of Your Dreams
Dreams remain just that if you don’t believe in them enough — or yourself — to make them a reality. Salvadoreña @_clauuu.turci_ took the time to share this sentiment on her grad cap, which read “believe in the beauty of your dreams.” Obviously, she just made one dream of hers come true — getting her M.Ed in Curriculum and Learning: Bilingual/ESL. Congrats!
“I never really boast about my accomplishments. However, being the first in my family to graduate with a Masters degree is something to feel beyond proud of! My parents were both born and raised in El Salvador making me first generation in the United States! Yes my parents were immigrants and no my parents don’t speak English. Yet that wasn’t an obstacle in allowing me to obtain such high honor. Today, my family and myself are overjoyed with excitement and together we applaud all my accomplishments because without them, I am nothing. #latinaontherise #nextstopPhD #latinxgradcaps”
Wild Tongues Cannot Be Tamed
If there is something most Latinas know, it is that you can’t control us or what we say (sorry not sorry). And why would you, when we are only speaking facts?! This is why we are raving over Nicoya-Dominicana Stephany Mejia’s Latinx grad cap, which reads “wild tongues can’t be tamed” (a quote by Gloria Anzaldua).
Nada es Imposible Con Familia
Your family, if you’re fortunate, is your support system, your squad of cheerleaders, and the group who has your back. Their love and support lifts you up and helps you climb all the mountains that lead to success. It’s important to thank them whenever you can, like was done on this pretty Latinx grad cap. It reads “nothing is impossible with family. Love you very much.”
Dicho y Hecho
“Dicho y hecho” (“said and done”). It is something that is said a lot in the Latinx community and is perfect for explaining how a person once said “I’m going to college,” and then walking the stage to get his or her degree. It was said, and it was done. Michelle Silva had “dicho y hecho” on her hat as she graduated from CSU Bakersfield, but she’s ready to add another goal to her life journey — graduate school.
“The journey was long, but I learned many valuable lessons through it all. I am thrilled to check off another accomplishment. I am excited to walk that stage tomorrow! Next up, Grad School! ?✨”
El Maraton Continua
Cal State L.A. is where @l.a.steph graduated from this year, but she realizes that the marathon isn’t over. That’s why she emblazoned her grad cap with “el marathon continua,” racing flags, and a WOC power fist. She has accomplished something major, but there is more work to do. Next up? Earning her masters degree at UCLA.
“Today I accomplished something that seemed so difficult for me to achieve but I said I was going to do! I graduated with a Degree In Sociology Option in Inequalities and Diversity,With a Minor in Psychology. I knew since a young age that I wanted to pursue my career in order to make a difference within institutions.However,I struggled in school all my life,I had every damn obstacle thrown at me during my academic journey.This was no traditional college route & I am not ashamed to speak on the hardships cause that’s what shaped me,I have stories for days and that’s okay cause Yo girl didnt quit!!
They say”The Harder the battle The Sweeter the Victory” and I am forever crying. Crying cause of how far I’ve come.Those “Echale Ganas Mija” from my parents kept me going.I am grateful to be able to speak on the experiences and Inspire the people!I was hesitant to say this cause of my self doubt, but I think I’ve been humble enough and today I share with you all that I will be pursuing my Masters Degree in Social Welfare at UCLA in the Fall.I got accepted? My hard work/ethics,& me believing in myself, has paid off.”
I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me
A Bible passage was the inspiration for our next grad cap. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” a.k.a. Philippians 4:13, is what @airwreka_carlos2010 rocked on her hat as she graduated from college. Like her friends (and grad cap creator) Nia and Lina of Hermanitas Craft said, “she set a goal, she hustled, and she made it.” And she took the time to acknowledge that God, and her faith, played a part.
Mariposa de Barrio
Jenni Rivera was a strong woman, who shared her life struggles and pain, but also strength and perseverance in her songs. She was truly an inspiration to many, including graduate Esmeralda Luna, who featured lyrics to Rivera’s song, “Mariposa de Barrio,” on her Latinx grad cap. Extra points for the monarch butterflies and papel picado!
“Inspired by Jenni Rivera’s Mariposa de Barrio song, because I come from a culture of women who inspire women every single day. My mom, my sisters, my Tías, my best friends, mis abuelitas que en paz descansen, todas las mujeres que diariamente vencemos el mundo despite everything we face in life. This degree is for all of us as a sign that no matter what they do to try to break us, when we’re together we create love and revolution that lights a fire that no one can put out. Para las mujeres, I love you, I appreciate you, we are a force to be reckoned with. #latinxgradcaps #latinagraduate #latinxgrads”
C’s Get Degrees
If you’re going to toot your own horn, it should definitely be when you graduate from college. It’s a huge achievement! Not everyone goes to college, and not everyone finishes once they decide to go. Be proud of yourself, like grad Ixchel Nochtli with her Latinx grad cap. It read: “c’s get degrees,” followed by “chula, cabrona, y chingona.” And we are here for it.
Rep Your Cities and Rep Your Life
Latinx grad caps can be deeply personal, and totally unique. Juanito (@nopaleroo) went into painstaking detail to shout out his hometowns, family, queer identity, #BrownMen, and other facets of who he is.
“#JuanitoIsGraduating: The rose represents mi madre la señora Oralia. El color rojo, fuerte como ella. El estético tan bonito como su alma. There are six petals to represent her children. On the left, I honor my pueblito #SanCiroDeAcosta, #SanLuisPotosí which is native land of the #Guachichil people. On the right, I honor my city of #OceansideCalifornia which is native land of the #Luiseño people. It is hand-written as such with a purpose, to pay homage to the #homeboys and the #BrownMen (my amigos, hermanos, and primos) I grew up along with. It is one of the many gifts they left me. The #monarchbutterfly is the #migration story of mi familia, of my gente. From Tierra Guachichil to Tierra Luiseño. La mariposa, a #Mexican euphemism that I often heard growing up to refer to gay men, is #nonconforming with its purple wing. Ella es parte de mi identidad. It is tribute to my #queerness, to my identity, mi #jotería. At the bottom, my #pronouns: They, Juanito. I try to shine like the gold background, it looks like little grains which make every connection that I’ve ever had that has had influence in my life. #ComoLaFlor #LatinxGradCaps #ChicanxGradCaps #MCCGrad2019”
They Work with Their Hands So I Can Work With My Mind
I don’t have any children (aside from my fur baby), but I have been around enough to understand the sacrifices parents do for their children. They limit themselves so that their kid(s) can have no limits. They want us to have everything they didn’t have and more. Veronica (@itssjustveroo) decorated her Latinx grad cap in a way that made it known that her parents worked as agricultural workers, in the fields, so that she could be able to graduate from Humboldt State. It reads, “they worked with their hands so I can work with my mind.”
“And just like that, my parents have their second child with a degree. ?? #latinxgradcaps #humboldtstate #hsugrad”
Pies, Para Que Los Quiero Si Tengo Alas Para Volar?
We will always celebrate when Latinxs use Frida Kahlo quotes to describe moments in their lives. She left us with so much wisdom and being connected to her and our Latinx roots, while also celebrating a win for ourselves (and our people) is just such a beautiful moment. Elizabeth Morales used a well-known and well-loved Frida quote on her Latinx grad cap: “pies, para que los quiero si tengo alas para volar?” (“feet, what do I need them for if I have wings to fly?”). And fly she did.