Hispanic Heritage Month has been a big celebration in the United States for over 40 years. Americans across the country celebrate this month with pride and joy, while commemorating the importance of diversity. Here are five things you need to know about Hispanic Heritage Month.
What is Hispanic Heritage Month?
It is a national celebration to honor the history, culture and influence of past generations from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.
The celebration began in 1968 under the administration of President Lyndon Johnson as a week-long celebration called Hispanic Heritage Week. Years later, President Ronald Reagan proposed expanding this celebration into a month-long event. It was enacted on August 17, 1988, officially designating the 30-day period beginning September 15 through October 15 as National Hispanic Heritage Month.
When is Hispanic Heritage Month celebrated?
Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated from September 15 to October 15. The celebration begins in the middle of the month as September 15 marks the anniversary of the independence of five countries: Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.
It is followed by Mexico’s Independence Day on September 16 and Chile’s on September 18. Another important date that falls within this 30 day period is Día de la Raza, or Columbus Day, which is celebrated on October 12.
What does Hispanic mean?
While many people use Latino (a) and Hispanic interchangeably, these two words mean different things. A Hispanic person is a person from or descended from a Spanish speaking country. Latino (a) is used to refer to someone who is from Latin America or who is a descendant of any country in Latin America.
A person can be both Hispanic and Latino (A), but not all Latinos are Hispanic. Brazilians, for example, are Latinos, but their mother tongue is not Spanish. Conversely, not all Hispanics are Latino (a). Spaniards are considered Hispanic, but not Latino, because they are part of the European Union.
Hispanic countries are: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Spain, Uruguay and Venezuela.
The Latin American countries are: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guyana, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Saint-Barthélemy, Saint-Martin, Uruguay and Venezuela.
How many Hispanics are there in the United States?
The Pew Research Center says America’s Hispanic population is the country’s second fastest growing ethnic group after Asians. The Hispanic population in the United States reached a record 62.1 million in 2020, according to the US Census Bureau. Hispanics make up 18.7% of the total population of the United States.
How do you celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month?
People use this celebration to show the importance of Hispanics to the United States by donating to Hispanic charities, eating food from any of the countries being celebrated, learning about their cultures, and honoring influential Hispanics. that have had an impact on society.
For more on how Latin Americans are reshaping America’s great states and small towns, check out NBC Latino’s “New Latino Landscape” series for #HispanicHeritageMonth.