Hispanic/ Latin Heritage Month: the Origins

hispanic hertiage

So, if you have no idea what I’m talking about, you’re in the right place. For the people who want a one-line answer, National Hispanic Heritage Month is the period from September 15 to October 15 in the United States, when people recognize the contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans to the United States and celebrate the group’s heritage and culture.

Basically, during this 30-day period many Latin American nations declared independence. And, this is a great way of sharing their joy, appreciating their culture and spreading awareness.

Hispanic Heritage Week was approved by President Lyndon Johnson in 1968 and expanded by President Ronald in 1988.This month is celebrated by United States, Canada and Latin America.

The countries that gained independence during this period:

September 15th: Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua

September 16th: Mexico

September 18th: Chile

September 21st: Belize

October 12th is called  “El Dia de la Raza” or “ the day of the  race”. Observed through Mexico and Latin America, The day celebrates the many nationalities, that are present in the history of Mexico, Central America, and South America. These nationalities include Native Americans such as the Mayas, Aztecs and Incas; and European nationalities such as Spanish, Portuguese, and French.

Hispanic people were among the earliest European settlers in the United States. Hispanic Americans have roots in Europe, Africa, and South and Central America and close cultural ties to Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, South America, and Spain.

Today, the Hispanic or Latino population in the U.S. is estimated at 50.5 million people. According to the U.S. Census (a study that tracks population growth), the country’s Hispanic population grew by 43 percent from 2000 to 2010, making it the largest and the fastest growing minority group in the country.

Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated with community festivals, government gatherings, and educational activities. Many schools celebrate the month by learning about contributions of Hispanic Americans both past and present.

For Some fun facts about Hispanic/ Latino population visit:

http://www.hispanicheritagemonth.org/Fun_Facts.html

 

-Radhika Sharma

 

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