From September 15th through October 15th of each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month by celebrating and honoring the cultures, contributions, and histories of American citizens whose ancestors are from Mexico, Spain, Central and South America, and the Caribbean. There are a variety of ways you can celebrate, honor, and support Hispanic Heritage Month, such as by visiting a cultural institution, reading books written by Hispanic/Latinx authors, supporting Hispanic/Latino-owned businesses, and learning more about the history of this annual celebration.
In this article, we’ll dive into the history behind this important period of observance as well as offer some fun and exciting activities you can participate in to celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month.
What is Hispanic Heritage Month?
Hispanic Heritage Month is a 30-day celebration that honors and reflects on the contributions Hispanic and Latinx Americans have given to the United States and the world. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, as of July 1, 2019, the Hispanic population in the United States made up 18.5% of the nation’s total population. Knowing how many individuals Hispanic Heritage Month impacts, it is especially important that we take the time to honor this important holiday. Hispanic Heritage Month begins its celebrations on September 15th because that day marks the anniversary of independence for five Latin American countries: El Salvador, Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala, and Nicaragua. Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence on September 16th and September 18th, respectively.
Ways to Celebrate and Observe Hispanic Heritage Month:
Enjoy Authentic Hispanic and Latinx Cuisine
It’s rare to find someone who doesn’t love a crispy Spanish empanada stuffed with cheese and corn or a crispy Venezuelan arepa filled with savory meat. Rather than cooking, support a local Hispanic restaurant in your area and experience the delectable flavors of its cuisine, including Peruvian ceviche, Caribbean tajadas, and—let’s not forget—Mexican margaritas. Rather than going to a major food chain such as Chipotle or Qdoba, try to support a smaller, locally owned restaurant instead.
Shop from a Latinx or Hispanic-Owned Business
Good Housekeeping put together a fantastic list of more than 80+ Hispanic and Latinx-owned businesses to support, whether you’re shopping for home décor, art supplies, hair products, or must-have items for your kitchen. Before going to a store, try to do a Google search for Hispanic and Latinx-owned businesses in your area as well.
Visit a Museum or Cultural Attraction Highlighting Hispanic and Latinx Heritage
There are many museums and exciting cultural attractions dedicated to celebrating Hispanic and Latinx culture throughout the United States. Chicago is home to the National Museum of Mexican Art as well as the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture. Texas is home to the Mexic-Arte Museum as well as the Instituto de Cultura Hispánica and the Centro de Artes. Additional Hispanic and Latinx museums are located in New York City, Washington D.C., throughout California, and in many other parts of the country.
There are also several Hispanic cultural attractions located throughout the U.S., including The Alamo in San Antonio, Chicano Park in San Diego, the Chamizal National Memorial in El Paso, and the Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument in New Mexico. Virtual events are also offered by some museums, such as this event offered by the Latino Center at the Smithsonian and these virtual events held through their heritage month event calendar.
Read Books by Hispanic and Latinx Authors
If you’re looking for some new books, consider stopping by your local bookstore and purchasing a book written by a Hispanic or Latinx author, or buy from the author directly by visiting their website. Some books that have been on several top-pick lists recently include Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende, The Taste of Sugar by Marisel Vera, and Afterlife by Julia Alvarez. If you enjoy reading the classics, opt for Don Quijote de la Mancha by Miguel de Cervantes and any books written by Gabriel García Márquez, Gabriela Mistral, and Jorge Luis Borges.
Listen to Hispanic and Latinx Podcasts
If reading isn’t your thing, or if you’re looking for something to complement your reading, check out the wide range of podcasts that are created by Hispanic and Latinx hosts. Whether you’re hoping to learn more about Hispanic and Latinx culture or you’re looking for an entertaining podcast, there is a wide range of podcasts available that discuss the news, current events, lifestyle tips, health and wellness, comedy, how to learn Spanish, and a wide range of other topics. Some great podcasts to listen to include Latino USA, NPR’s Alt Latino, Latina to Latina, Experience Hispanic Heritage, News in Slow Spanish, and Coffee Break Spanish.
Donate to Hispanic and Latinx Organizations
There is no better way to show support than by helping those in need. Some non-profits and organizations that are dedicated to providing resources and support to Hispanic and Latinx individuals in need include the Hispanic Heritage Foundation, NALEO, The Latino Victory Fund, the National Alliance for Hispanic Health, the Young Center For Immigrant Children’s Rights, and the Hispanic Scholarship Fund.
Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month on Social Media
If you can do any of the activities mentioned above, try to share them with your friends and family on social media. The more awareness that can be brought to Hispanic Heritage Month, the more individuals will learn about the history of this period of cultural observance. If you are unable to attend any of the events or activities mentioned in this article, try to find an informative clip to share with your social circles that informs individuals on why we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. Many are unaware that we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month altogether, so sharing information on social media is an easy and free way to help educate those around us.
Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Here at Draper and Kramer, we are dedicated to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment to all individuals. To learn more about our commitment to furthering that mission, we invite you to visit our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion page.