National Hispanic Heritage Month is observed from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15 every year, offering an opportunity for individuals to honor and celebrate the contributions, cultures, and history of American citizens from Central and South America, the Caribbean, Mexico, and Spain.
In this article, we’ll dive into how you can celebrate and observe National Hispanic Heritage Month in 2022, as well as ways you can support the community by shopping at local businesses, donating to important causes, and more.
What is National Hispanic Heritage Month?
National Hispanic Heritage Month is a time for Americans to celebrate the contributions of those who are of Hispanic and Latinx descent. Although the formal, government-recognized heritage month only has the word ‘Hispanic’ in its title, it is important that we honor the contributions of the Latinx community as well, which includes Indigenous people, Brazilians, and other non-Spanish speaking groups from Latin America.
Why is National Hispanic Heritage Month Held in September and October?
National Hispanic Heritage Month begins on September 15 as that marks the anniversary of the day Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and El Salvador declared their independence from Spain in 1821. Mexico also celebrates its day of independence on September 16, Chile celebrates Its day of independence on September 18, and Día de la Raza (Columbus Day) falls on October 12, hence why National Hispanic Heritage Month is observed in September and October.
What is the History Behind National Hispanic Heritage Month?
According to the National Hispanic Heritage Month’s website, the observation initially began in 1968 under Lyndon Johnson. The month was then expanded to cover the 30-day period under Ronald Reagan who enacted it into law on August 17, 1988, and it has been observed from September 15 through October 15 ever since.
Ways to Celebrate and Observe National Hispanic Heritage Month:
Although the history and remarkable contributions of Hispanic and Latinx individuals should be observed all year, National Hispanic Heritage Month offers a great opportunity to honor Hispanic and Latinx culture through festivals, community gatherings, and more. Here are some great ways to get involved in 2022:
Support up-and-coming Hispanic and Latinx Artists
There are tons of popular Hispanic and Latinx artists and musicians who are well known (such as Shakira, Jennifer Lopez, and Camilla Cabello), but there are many up-and-coming musicians and artists to support who are creating inspiring music, paintings, sculptures, and art installations.
Visit a Local Restaurant
What better way to celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month than enjoying delectable Latin American food? If you live in the Chicago area, there are fantastic restaurants to choose from, including Amaru, Las Tablas Colombian Steakhouse, and Irazu. If you prefer to cook, buy ingredients from a Latin American grocery store and sizzle up something tasty at home!
Visit a Museum
There are tons of museums around the United States that are dedicated to Latin American art, but some may be challenging to visit in person depending on what part of the country you live in. Thankfully, many offer online exhibitions and collections that can be toured virtually. Options include the Smithsonian Latino Virtual Museum as well as Google’s Latin Art & Culture page.
Read Books by Latinx and Hispanic Authors
Add some books by Hispanic and Latinx authors to your bookshelf to learn more about their culture and heritage. Some great options include What Would Frida Do?: A Guide to Living Boldly, a part-biography by Latina author Arianna Davis inspired by the iconic Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. Other books to add to your list include What’s Mine and Yours by Naima Coster, I Am Diosa: A Journey to Healing Deep, Loving Yourself, and Coming Back Home to Soul by Christine Gutiérrez, and Never Look Back by Lilliam Rivera.
Listen to a Podcast
Interested in learning Spanish or brushing up on your speaking skills? Podcasts such as Advanced News in Slow Spanish help you stay informed about current events while practicing Spanish. The podcast Las Doctoras is another great option to consider which focuses on race, gender, and other causes related to social justice.
Take Dance Lessons
There are many forms of dance that are immersed in Latin American culture, including salsa, rumba, merengue, mambo, and bachata. Join a local dance center that is Latinx-owned to help show your support this month. This is a great date night idea or can be a fun night out with friends or coworkers!
Donate to a Cause Benefitting Hispanic and Latinx Individuals
There are tons of great organizations that are helping to create a safe and inclusive environment for all in the U.S.
Some nonprofits to consider donating to include The Safe Passage Project, which provides free lawyers for immigrant and refugee children in New York who otherwise wouldn’t have legal counsel. Additional organizations to consider include the Latino Equality Alliance, a Los Angeles-based organization advocating for the Latinx LGBTQ+ community; Voto Latino, a media organization that promotes Latinx leadership; and the Young Center For Immigrant Children’s Rights which advocates for the rights of unaccompanied immigrant children.
Don’t Forget To Share How You’re Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month on Social Media
Whichever way you choose to celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month, be sure to share it on social media to help raise awareness around this great time of observance and celebration.
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.