National Hispanic Heritage Month

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Hispanic Heritage Month is an annual celebration of the history and culture of Latinx and Hispanic communities in the U.S. It goes from September 15 to October 15. We take this time to celebrate how these communities have enriched our nation and society!

The reason for the timing of Hispanic Heritage Month is because it coincides with the Independence Day celebrations of five Central American countries. Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua declared their independence from Spain on September 15, 1821.

An Independence Day celebration in Costa Rica

In 2019, the Census Bureau estimated there were roughly 60.6 million Hispanics in the United States! That makes up 18% of the total national population.

Research has shown that Hispanic people have mixed views on how they describe their identity. A majority of Hispanics don’t see themselves fitting into the standard race categories offered by the Census Bureau. 

However, “Hispanic” typically refers to language, meaning a person can tie their heritage back to a Spanish-speaking country. “Latino/Latina/Latinx” identity means someone has ancestry from the countries that make up Latin America, including those in the Caribbean and Central, North, and South America. 

There isn’t an industry in which Hispanic Americans haven’t made their mark in history, which means there are so many influential Hispanic and Latino people (and characters) to celebrate!

Activities and events you can participate in this month:

  • September 18: Hispanic Heritage Month 2021 Celebration
    Hispanic Heritage Month 2021 Celebration hosted by the Northfield Public Library. Enjoy a day of dancing, music, food & art!
  • September 18: Fiesta Latina
    Fiesta Latina is a free community festival for the whole family celebrating Latino culture through arts, food, entertainment, health and community resources, sports activities and more! Enjoy a day full of fun and resources at CLUES St. Paul.
  • September 22: Young Portrait Explorers: Marisol Escobar
    Join the Smithsonian’s virtual workshop for children ages 3-6 and their adult companions to learn about art, history, movement, and more!
  • September 25: Virtual Pajama Party 
    This online event for kids aged 8–12 and their families will focus on Sylvia & Aki , an inspiring book based on a true story. The program will feature civil-rights activist and title character Sylvia Mendez, and acclaimed author Winifred Conkling.
  • October 11: Children’s and YA Latin American and Latinx Literature
    Join the Hispanic Reading Room at the Library of Congress and Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs (CLASP) in a virtual celebration of children’s and YA Latin American and Latinx literature. 
  • October 15:  “¡Yo soy una Girl Scout!” Friday Fiesta (St. Paul, MN)
    Join us for this Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration as we learn about the art, food, folklore, and other community traditions. You do not need to be a Girl Scout member to participate. This program will be in English and Spanish.

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