Hispanic Heritage Month


Beginning today, Sept. 15, the annual observance of Hispanic Heritage Month starts across the United States, celebrating the cultures, achievements, and histories of Americans with Hispanic ancestry. This celebration lasts from the middle of this month through Oct. 15.

Hispanic Heritage Month began as a week-long celebration in 1968 under President Lyndon B. Johnson and was later extended to thirty days when it was signed into law on Aug. 17, 1988. Now, 34 years later, Hispanic Heritage Month is still recognized in various ways across the United States.

“What I try to do is just in my classes really just teach about [Hispanic Heritage Month], like the important accomplishments and things that you know Hispanics have contributed throughout history,” Spanish teacher Ms. Adriana Rice said.

Common methods of celebration usually include trying a traditional Hispanic recipe, reading books by Hispanic authors, learning about Hispanic history, or attending a Hispanic culture night.

One uniting factor within our Hispanic community is our desire to be included and represented in all aspects of American society.”

— Ms. Ily Soares

“Within my family too [I] just kind of make it a point, like telling my kids, ‘You know, you guys are half Hispanic, so you need to understand and appreciate all of the things…about our culture,’” Ms. Rice said.

Each year, a theme for Hispanic Heritage Month is voted on by NCHEPM members, as well as partners of federal agencies, and the general public. This year’s theme is Unidos: Inclusivity for a Stronger Nation.

“One uniting factor within our Hispanic community is our desire to be included and represented in all aspects of American society,” Ms. Ily Soares, Supervisory Accountant at Farm Credit, said. “When different voices are sitting at the metaphorical table and included in key decisions, the entire community benefits from greater solutions that address concerns from all people.”

Whether or not one’s ancestry contains Hispanic heritage, it’s encouraged that all people, regardless of their background, celebrate the tremendous contributions recognized during Hispanic Heritage Month.

“Just like we celebrate any of the heritage [months], I think it’s important to learn about history and contributions that people have made to not just to the United States but society and the world in general,” Mrs. Rice said. “It’s important to just broaden people’s horizons and everything and learn about all different people and different cultures.”