Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month
Every year from September 15 to October 15 we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month to recognize the achievements and contributions of Hispanic Americans who have inspired others to make a change and achieve success.
This special month celebrates members of communities and their ancestors from Central America, South America, and Spain, who have contributed to American society in different fields.
This important celebration began in 1968 under President Lyndon Johnson when he signed the National Hispanic Heritage Week bill into law on September 17. From that day forward, presidents have issued statements praising the importance of the contributions of Hispanic Americans. However, in 1987 a representative from California, Esteban Torres, submitted a bill to expand the Hispanic heritage day into a month-long celebration. In his remarks Torres declared that supporters of this legislation “want the American people to learn of our heritage. We want the public to know that we share a legacy with the rest of the country, a legacy that includes artists, writers, Olympic champions, and leaders in business, government, cinema, and science.”The bill died that year in committee, but Senator Paul Simon submitted a similar bill to the one proposed by Torres and President Reagan signed it into law on August 17, 1988.
Why do the celebrations start the 15th of September?
The 15th of September marks the anniversaries of national independence of several Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Also, Mexico celebrates its independence on the 16th and Chile on the 18th of September.
The Hispanic Heritage Month allows the country to notice, acknowledge, and celebrate the history of diverse Hispanic communities, where they are today and all the amazing things they have accomplished so far. It is also a population that its growing - the Census of 2020 revealed that the Hispanic or Latino population was 62.1 million in 2020. i
How you can celebrate?
There are a lot of ways to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. You can engage in films, documentaries, books, movies, parades, parties, food festivals, and much more. In addition, museums like the Smithsonian have a lot of resources in their website to learn more.
In the Hispanic community, we count thousands of animal lovers who support our causes and championed for a better world for animals and the planet. Celebrities and influencers have joined efforts with organizations and NGOs to work tirelessly in support of animal causes. For example, a new generation of Latinx vegan Instagrammers share the passion for a better world with tasty plant-based recipes and promote a healthy lifestyle while supporting great animal causes in their platforms. Also, celebrities like Eugenio Derbez have been very vocal about animal issues. Recently, he exposed how the Brazilian meat industry is causing global damage both to animals and to our planet. International stars like Ricky Martin have shared their love and passion for animals too, and this is just an example of millions of Hispanics sharing their voice and passion. From NGOs to academia, government, and private institutions, they are trying to make their world a better place for animals and the planet.
In this post, we have used the term “Hispanic” to describe the population that celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month. However, we recognize that other terms exist to describe this population, including Latino/a and Latinx. We are always looking to learn and improve our language, and welcome suggestions for more inclusive language from the communities who these terms represent.