Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated from September 15 to October 15 to recognize the achievements and contributions of Hispanic Americans. In 1968, President Lyndon Johnson established Hispanic Week and this was expanded in 1988 by President Reagan to cover a 30-day period.
The celebration starts mid-month because September 15th marks the independence of five countries: Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. Also, Mexico’s Independence Day is September 16th and Chile’s is September 18th.
Some famous Hispanic Americans include United Farm Workers of America leader Cesar Chavez, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotamayor, Broadway music producer Lin-Manuel Miranda, Housing and Urban Development Director Juan Castro and singer Jennifer Lopez to name just a few. Here in Chaska, we are blessed with a vibrant Hispanic population that enriches our everyday lives.
The United States Census Bureau estimates that 62.1 million persons of Hispanic heritage from 20 Spanish-speaking countries lived in the U.S. in 2020. There is no single history of Hispanic immigration to the United States. Each story is unique.
We can celebrate by recognizing the important contributions that Hispanics have made to our country, patronizing Hispanic owned restaurants, contributing to Hispanic charities, reading books and watching movies that will help us learn more about this culture.
Here are some suggested resources to get you started:
Eat a meal at Patrón or La Hermosa in Chaska.
Get to know your Spanish-speaking neighbors.
Make a point to learn a little Spanish. A friendly, "Hola" can go a long way.
Read a book, such as Esperanza Rising (middle school), Alma and How She Got Her Name (young children), or How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents (adult).
Watch a movie, such as Selena, Cesar Chavez, The Book of Life, McFarland, USA, or Xico’s Journey.