National Hispanic and Latinx Heritage Month

Mexican folk dance performance with traditional white dress

Photo by Fred Herter Jr. from Ralph Frinzler Folklife Archives and Collections, Smithsonian Institute

 It is National Hispanic and Latinx Heritage Month and we want your help in spreading awareness and celebrating this time. Here is a bit about the month: Each year, the U.S. observes National Hispanic and Latinx Heritage Month from September 15th to October 15th, by celebrating the histories, cultures, and contributions of Hispanic and Latinx peoples from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, 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, month long, period. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988, on the approval of Public Law 100-402.  

September 15th is also Independence Day for the Latin American countries of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Mexico celebrates their Independence Day on September 16th, Chile on September 18th, and Belize on September 21st.  

Although this has been named Hispanic Heritage Month nationally, “Latinx” has been increasingly added to the title to more inclusively represent people of and from every Latin country. "Latinx" is a gender-neutral term used as an alternative to "Latino". When people of Latin descent are talked about or mentioned as a group, community, or whole, “Latinx” is a term used to include all genders and not defer to the masculine nature of "Latino" (when there may be additional genders represented in the group). Latinx aims to move beyond gender binaries and is inclusive of the intersecting identities of individuals of Latin American descent. It is also inclusive of the LGBTQIA2S+ community. 

We are saying “National Hispanic and Latinx Heritage Month” to engage in these inclusive language practices and to honor each way that individuals identify.  

Below, we have provided you with links to resources for staff, students, and families:

Resources

 

 

Cultural Observances