National Hispanic Heritage Month: What you should know
By Nicole Rodriguez
Throughout much of our lives, we learn about the dedicated months we have for certain events in history. Such include Black History month in February, Women’s History month in March, and both National Indigenous month and Pride in June. Between September 15 to October 15, Hispanics all over the United States celebrate their heritage, whereas it is observed all throughout October in Canada.
National Hispanic Heritage month started out as National Hispanic week in the United States. In June of 1968, Representative George E. Brown Jr. created a week, deemed ‘Hispanic Heritage Week’, and brought the idea to former President Lyndon B. Johnson. He signed it, and it took place between September 15 to September 22. Twenty years later in 1988, it was expanded from September 15 to October 15. Here in Canada, the Latin American Heritage Month Act, is celebrated in October.
The dates were chosen because of the correlation to five other Latin countries that celebrate their independence sometime in between those dates. Costa Rica, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua, all celebrate their day of independence on September 15th. Mexico’s independence date falls on September the 16th. Chile’s independence day is the 18th and Puerto Rico’s on the 23rd.
National Hispanic Heritage month is a way for Latinos to learn about their heritage and past, no matter what part of Latin America they come from. Celebrating before the pandemic meant attending parades that often had food, dancing and floats to recognize each country, such as the annual Latin Fall and Fiesta Parade held in Toronto. Now, some ways you can celebrate are by:
Cooking an authentic dish
Supporting your local Latino business’
Learning about Latin history (Not only in Latin America but in North America as well!)
Like many Latinos (including myself) we pride ourselves on our heritage and culture. National Hispanic Heritage month is a time to recognize our cultures struggles and history and how we’ve overcome them.
Highsmith, Carol M, photographer. Carnaval, San Francisco, California. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, www.loc.gov/item/2013630039/.
National Hispanic Heritage Month. The Library of Congress. https://www.hispanicheritagemonth.gov/. The Library
Traditional Mexican folklórico dancers on stage at La Fiesta de Tumacácori. Patrick L. Christman, photographer, 2017. National Park Service collection