Celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month: September 15th – October 15th
Hispanic communities — the largest ethnic minority group in the United States, according to Pew Research Center — have made enormous contributions to the history, culture and achievements of the United States. In celebration of Hispanic heritage, the United States honors Hispanic Americans with 30 days of federally recognized celebration known as National Hispanic Heritage Month, which takes place each year from September 15th to October 15th.
According to the National Hispanic Heritage Month government website, September is a significant month in Hispanic history because it coincides with the anniversary of independence from Spain for the Latin American countries of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua (which celebrate their independence on September 15th), Mexico (September 16th), Chile (September 17th) and Belize (September 21st).
Celebrating Hispanic Heritage began as a week-long event in 1968, when a bill sponsored by Rep. Edward R. Roybal of Los Angeles was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson. In 1988, legislation sponsored by Rep. Esteban Edward Torres of Pico Rivera (and amended by Senator Paul Simon) expanded the week into a month-long celebration when the bill was signed by President Ronald Regan.
This year, the theme of National Hispanic Heritage Month is “Esperanza: A Celebration of Hispanic Heritage and Hope.” Learn more about the contributions of Hispanic Americans and the history of Hispanic Heritage Month by checking out our library of resources below — and celebrate along with your family by attending any of the local or virtual events!
- El Pueblo de Los Angeles – watch videos and exhibitions online!
- En Familia con La Plaza – Join LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes and Latin Grammy-winning duo 123 Andrés this summer for a super special educational series! Premiering exclusively on YouTube, En Familia con LA Plaza y 123 Andrés will inspire you to think about health and wellness in creative ways.
- National Hispanic Heritage Month – Official Website
- Forbes: It’s Time To Rethink The Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration
- USC News: Takeaways from the transformation of South Los Angeles
- Los Angeles Public Library: Children’s Reading Lists for Latino Heritage
- Children’s Literacy Initiative: Hispanic Heritage Book List
- National Education Association: Hispanic Heritage Month – Lessons, activities, videos and more!
- Los Angeles Libros Festival will offer two days of entertainment for all ages featuring Spanish-language and bilingual storytelling, performances, workshops and award-winning authors. (September 24th – October 5th).
- La Plaza de Cultura y Artes September Events – LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes presents the best of Los Angeles Latinx history, art and culture featuring onsite programs and online sessions.
- Arroyo Seco Regional Library’s Hispanic Heritage Month: A Learning Circle – Explore the cultures of ancient Mesoamerica in our Learning Circle. Each week we will watch three episodes from The Great Courses’ Maya to Aztec: Ancient Mesoamerica Revealed on our own and then meet up to reflect on what we have learned. (Online, September 15th).
- Aquarium of the Pacific’s Baja Splash Cultural Event – The event features live music and dance representing cultures in Mexico and Central and South America. Educational programs and other special activities are included. (October 2nd & 3rd).
- Grand Performances: Buyepongo vs. Quitapenas – In honor of Mexican Independence day, Afro-Latin artists Buyepongo and Quitapenas will engage in competitive back-to-back sets. (September 18th).
- L.A. County Library – History of National Hispanic Heritage Month Virtual Events (September 16th & 22nd).
RESOURCES FOR HISPANIC FAMILIES
- West Los Angeles FamilySource Center Latino Resource Organization
- League of United Latin American Citizens
- Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund
- USC: La Casa
- Central American Resource Center (Centro de Recursos Centroamericanos)
- Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA)
- Community Coalition South LA
- El Nido Family Centers
- 211 – Latino Resource Center
- Los Angeles Department of Mental Health: Latino USCC