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Hispanic Heritage Month Resources


What is Hispanic Heritage Month?

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Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of individuals whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.

The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988, on the approval of Public Law 100-402.

The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September 18, respectively. Also, Columbus Day or El Día de la Raza, which is October 8th, falls within this 30 day period.

What is El Día de la Raza?

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Every October 12 Mexicans celebrate El Día de la Raza, the Day of the Race, instead of Columbus Day due to the controversies surrounding this historical figure. The Italian explorer and his Spanish crews enslaved and murdered thousands of American indigenous groups he encountered during his voyage, many Spanish-speaking countries and communities don’t honor Columbus day, and also celebrate El Día de la Raza

So, what is celebrated on this holiday? It celebrates the Hispanic heritage of Latin America and honors many of the countries that were conquered by Spain. 

El Día de la Raza celebrates the birth of a new identity fusion of two cultures that of the Spanish conquerors and the indigenous people in America. It is a day to commemorate Hispanic race and heritage. In Spain and other countries it is called El Día de la HispanidadThe Spanishness Day. In Venezuela, in 2002 it was changed to the Día de la Resistencia IndígenaThe Day of the Indigenous Resistance

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