¡Feliz Mes de la Herencia Hispana!

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Fun Fact: The countries next to each image are just some of the countires highlighted in this article. Did you know that there are 20 Spanish speaking countries!

Happy Hispanic Heritage Month!

Hispanic Heritage Month takes place from September 15th to October 15th. This month commemorates and celebrates Hispanic Americans, how they have inspired others and their significant contributions to American History and Society.

About Hispanic Heritage month

The recognition of Hispanic Americans first began as Hispanic Heritage week in 1968 and then expanded to 30 days of celebration that was enacted into law on August 17, 1988. While other heritage months start on the 1st of the month Hispanic Heritage Month starts on the 15th of the month because many significant dates in Hispanic history fall on this time frame; for example,  many countries like Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua have gained their independence from Spain on September 15th.

This year, the White House is taking this month to show respect and recognition to the Hispanic doctors, nurses, and scientists who are at the forefront helping us all in the fight against COVID-19.

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage month

This month is all about celebrating Hispanic culture. Many universities like the University of South Florida will host a series of events all month long celebrating Hispanic culture. Cultural associations will host events sometimes with free food, which is a great opportunity to get a taste of Hispanic culture and save meal points! Contact your school or check your university email for more information on Hispanic Heritage month celebrations on your campus. Apart from attending campus events, we have put together a list of some activities you can do to celebrate this month:

  1. Having a Hispanic meal:  Many Hispanic countries have a national dish, for example in El Salvador, the national dish is Pupusas, thick corn patties stuffed with Cheese, and your choice of ingredients like refried beans, chicharrones, or the loroco flower.  Find a recipe online and cook it with your friends and family. If you can’t cook, you can always grab lunch or dinner from a Latin American restaurant near you.
  2. Dancing: Dance is a huge part of Hispanic culture. Salsa is a combination of African and Spaniard instruments and dance styles; Cuban and Puerto Rican influences transformed the dance into what it is today. Take a salsa dance class or learn by watching a YouTube video.
  3. Watch a film: Many shows showcase Hispanic culture today. In the Heights is a film based on a play highlighting Hispanic culture in New York City. Since Hispanic Heritage month ends on October 15th, if you are feeling in the Halloween Spirit you can get the best of both worlds by watching Coco, this is a Pixar animated film center on El Día De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead); a traditional Mexican holiday where families commemorate their family members who have passed.

Influential Hispanic Figures

Apart from Hispanic culture, we take this time to acknowledge Hispanic influential people who have achieved great accomplishments in their fields and have contributed to society. Here are some Hispanic- Americans we want to celebrate this month:

Roberto Clemente

Someone who embodies the meaning of Hispanic Heritage Month by inspiring others and giving back to the Hispanic community. He was a baseball player for the Pittsburg Pirates and led his team to win two world series in 1960 and 1971. He passed in a tragic plane crash delivering aid to victims of an earthquake in Nicaragua. More about Roberto Clemente.

Sonia Sotomayor

Being of Puerto Rican decent, Sotomayor is the first Hispanic-American to serve as a supreme court justice. Sotomayor is a symbol of strength for many Hispanic Americans as she achieved great successes despite the hardships she endured as a young Hispanic/Latina growing up in The Bronx. More about Sonia Sotomayor.

Romeo Santos

Dominican and Puerto Rican – American singer and songwriter of Bachata music. Putting a modern twist on traditional bachata sound, he has kept Bachata alive for his generation and brings people from all around the world to appreciate Hispanic music. More about Romeo Santos.

Eugenio Derbez

Derbez won the Hispanic Heritage Award for Film at the 32nd Annual Hispanic Heritage Awards at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 2019. Derbez is a Mexican actor and comedian who has influenced American entertainment with his successful breakthroughs in American films like Instructions Not Included. His work has broken barriers and opened doors for other Hispanic-Americans today. More about Eugenio Derbez

Salma Hayek

The Mexican Actress has also broken barriers in the American film industry. Hayek is known for her thick Hispanic accent which has led her to inspire another Hispanic talent to break barriers and embrace every part of their culture in a predominantly American industry. In an interview with Oprah, Hayek stated, “In Mexico, nobody says, “You speak English with a good accent.” You either speak English or you don’t: As long as you can communicate, no one cares”. More about Salma Hayek.

We encourage you to have fun exploring and learning about Hispanic culture. Happy Hispanic Heritage month from ISO!

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