What is National Heritage Month?
National Heritage Month is a time in the year that has been chosen to celebrate Hispanic and Latino Americans for all their achievements and contributions to US society as the Latino community is becoming increasingly important to the economy, culture, and politics of the United States.
It all began as Hispanic Heritage Week in 1968 with President Lyndon Johnson and is celebrated from September 15 – October 15 because it is the anniversary of independence of five Hispanic countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua, who all declared independence in 1821.
Wondering what is the difference between Hispanics and Latinos?
Often these two terms are mistaken due to their similarities. However, Hispanic refers to people who speak Spanish or are descended from Spanish-speaking populations, while Latino refers to people who are from or descended from people from Latin America.
As days go by, Hispanics have made their way and left a mark, and it’s no surprise as we present 18% of the total population. Whether it’s a cultural, artistic, gastronomic, political influence, here are some names that may ring a bell:
One of the most prominent Hispanic civil rights activists.
One of the most notable Hispanic American figures in the movie and music industry.
Judge who made history when former US president Barack Obama appointed her as the first Latina woman to serve as a Supreme Court Justice.
Is the youngest woman to ever be elected to Congress.
In 1993, became the first female Hispanic astronaut in space.
First Latin American and Caribbean player to be enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
- Almost one-fifth of the U.S. population (55 million people) are Hispanics, two-thirds of whom are of Mexican origin.
- More than half of the U.S. Hispanic and Latino population resides in California, Texas, and Florida. California has the largest population of Hispanic and Latino Americans, with over 14 million.
- Most notably, Mexican food (and it’s Americanized cousin, Tex-Mex) have long been culinary staples in American society.
- On the other hand, the United States is considered one of the countries with the most Spanish-speakers in the world. In fact, according to demographic projections, it is expected that, within 40 years, one in every 3 inhabitants of the region will be Hispanic.
how can you celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month?
Feel the Hispanic roots and let yourself be blown away by the variety of dishes each country has to offer. Feel like learning something new? Why not take dance lessons? Pretty sure they will come in handy. Whether you are watching a Spanish-language TV show, playing our music or supporting a Hispanic-owned business, Hispanics will always find their way to make it to your heart.