US Lacrosse is happy to join in the celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from Sept. 15-Oct. 15 and recognizes the contributions and influence of Hispanic Americans to the history and culture of the United States.

Across the country, Americans with Hispanic Heritage are picking up lacrosse sticks and falling in love with this game. For some, the connections made through lacrosse have brought them closer to their heritage, as more and more Hispanic countries adopt the game and participate in international competitions.

From youth players to those in the professional ranks, Hispanic Americans are a crucial part of the lacrosse community — and each person has a unique story to tell. In partnership with Lacrosse the Nations, we will highlight proud Hispanic Americans in the game of lacrosse and their family stories on our social media platforms.

We are grateful for you. We support you. You help make this sport special. Te estamos agradecidos. Te apoyamos. Ayudas a que este deporte sea especial.

Romar Dennis

Heritage: Panamanian, El Salvadorian
Location: Santa Monica, Calif.
Team: Atlas LC

What does your heritage mean to you?

My Latino heritage means everything to me. It means that we work hard and nothing is beneath us, we respect and stay close to our family and we preserve our culture. It also has shown me that we don't have to look alike to be a part of the same family or community.  A lot of my mom's side of the family is here in the U.S. and we are all very close. Every birthday, wedding, graduation, las creencias religiosas, la Navidad, Thanksgiving celebration has always been a reminder of what our culture is. La cultura latina no solo es la comida y la fiesta, si no todo el patrimonio y la herencia que traemos a este país.

What is your family's immigrant story?

My mom [Marleny Dennis] fled El Salvador in the early 1980s during the Salvadoran Civil War and came in search of better opportunities. My dad [Roberto Dennis Sr.] was scouted by the New York Yankees to play in the U.S. He played four years in the Yankees farm system. They met in Washington, D.C. 

How were you introduced to lacrosse?

I only started playing lacrosse because my older brother Junior started playing, and I wanted to do whatever he did. Baseball is huge in Latin America, so my father was rightfully disappointed when I wanted to stop playing. No one in my family had ever heard of lacrosse, but they still showed extreme support regardless. Lacrosse is a mainstream sport in Maryland, so there were plenty of games for my parents to take me to. I specifically remember my mom getting some kind of "Lacrosse 101" book when I started playing in elementary school.

What role has lacrosse played in your life?

Lacrosse has opened doors and provided me with opportunities that I would not have gotten without it. The sport has something to do with every place I've lived and every job I've had.