Each year, September 15th through October 15th is designated as National Hispanic and Latino Heritage Month. This month-long observance recognizes and celebrates the histories, cultures, and contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans past and present. The observance begins in the middle of September and lasts until the middle of October because it aligns with national independence days in several Latin American countries, including Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Mexico, Chile, and Belize.
It’s also important to note that the United States specifically celebrates “Hispanic Heritage Month,” but the term “Hispanic” is a blanket term used to describe a large group of communities that are from different countries and are unique from one another. Each individual in these groups has their own preference on how to be addressed, and some of the other terms include Latino, Latina, and Latinx. In this article, we’ll share more about Hispanic and Latino Heritage Month and why it’s so important.
Hispanic and Latino Heritage in the United States
As of 2020, the Hispanic population in the United States was over 62 million—almost 20% of the entire country. However, many people in the Hispanic community are often discriminated against. With America being founded as a land of freedom for everyone, it’s essential that everyone feels welcome, safe, and respected.
One of the things that Hispanic Heritage Month does is celebrate these individuals, their contributions to the United States, their individual heritages and histories, and their cultures and customs. These things help make these people who they are, and celebrating them shows individuals that they are welcome and this country is theirs, just like every other group that calls it home.
Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated by millions across the country each year, and each unique culture has its own celebrations and traditions. Here are some of the ways that Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated:
- Parades and festivals, like the Hispanic Heritage Month Family Festival at the Smithsonian Institution and smaller festivals within specific communities
- Art exhibits highlighting the work of Hispanic artists
- Film presentations of works from Hispanic filmmakers
- Enjoying Hispanic food
- Reading the works of Hispanic authors
- Learning the history of different Hispanic cultures
- Supporting Hispanic-owned businesses
- Learning how to speak Spanish
- Telling stories and continuing an oral tradition that is common in many Hispanic communities
At the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Mississippi Delta, we believe in celebrating all of the children in our communities. We do whatever it takes to build great futures and aim to serve local kids by keeping them safe and healthy while promoting respect and equality. One of the ways we do this is through our afterschool programs, which provide a safe place for all children where they have access to homework help, fitness activities, workforce development, literacy activities, and more.
Each of our programs and clubs provides kids with a safe place to play, learn, exercise, and receive nutritious foods. Find out how you can get involved with our organization by signing your child up for a club or afterschool program, making a donation, or volunteering to help our cause today!