Over the years, Google has made it a point to celebrate several notable Latinxs through their Google Doodles, little pieces of art that replace the traditional Google logo and educate the millions of people who search on the site about accomplished, interesting people, important dates in history, and more. One of their most recent ones was a shout out on September 15th to Puerto Rican civil rights pioneer and business owner Felicitas Mendez. They’ve also honored Desi Arnaz, Selena Quintanilla, and Gabriel García Márquez among other Latinx icons. In celebration and appreciation, we are going to take a look at some of the great Google Doodles created in homage to famous Latinos from several different countries and Latinx culture.
Contributing writer: Virginia Isaad
Puerto Rican Felicitas Mendez is an icon of Latinx activism. She and her Mexican husband, Gonzalo Mendez fought for equality for their children, who were forced to attend segregated schools. The 1946 case (decided in 1947) against the Westminster School District of Orange County, Mendez v. Westminster historically made putting Mexican children in “Mexican schools” unlawful and unconstitutional. Mendez was honored on September 15, 2020, the first day of Hispanic Heritage Month, with this Google Doodle.
The Anniversary of Loteria
¡Feliz Aniversario, Lotería!
— Google Doodles (@GoogleDoodles) December 9, 2019
On December 9 of last year, Google celebrated the 106th anniversary of the copyrighting in Mexico of the classic Mexican card game Loteria, with a festive Doodle. In addition to the artwork, there is the addition of an actual interactive game, where players can play with friends, or with random users from around the world.
Gabriel Garcia Marquez
We were muy excited to see this Google Doodle that celebrated what would have been the 91st birthday of Colombian writer and Nobel Prize of Literature recipient Gabriel Garcia Marquez (Gabo!). The colorful artwork features a visual depiction of his 1967 literary masterpiece, Cien años de soledad (One Hundred Years of Solitude).
Maria Firmina dos Reis
Brazilian author, educator, & activist Maria Firmina dos Reis became her nation's first novelist, speaking out against slavery in her essays, poems, & abolitionist songs ✍️🎶#GoogleDoodle → https://t.co/ozypMnPn4q pic.twitter.com/PxW5j0MDLg
— Google Doodles (@GoogleDoodles) October 11, 2019
On what would have been her 194th birthday, October 11, 2019, Afro-Brazilian author, educator, and activist Maria Firmina dos Reis was honored with a Google Doodle. The trailblazer was Brazil’s first novelist and often wrote on the topics of slavery, such as in Úrsula, her 1859 abolitionist novel.
Google shared a doodle of Peruvian songbird on September 13, 2016, on what would have been her 94th birthday. The soprano was reported to have a five-octave range, and to also have been an Incan princess.
The Latino world collectively lost it when the animated Selena Google Doodle was released on October 17, 2017, the 28th anniversary of the release of her debut album Selena. It was also the middle of Hispanic History Month, which made the sentiment that much sweeter.
Ruben Dario was a Nicaraguan poet and writer, credited with creating Modernismo, a Spanish-American literary and cultural movement. On January 13, 2013, Google shared this dreamy illustration of a swan, for what would have been his 146th birthday. It is in reference to his poem, “El Cisne” (“The Swan”).
For her 198th birthday – June 26, 2017 – Google honored Argentinian feminist, journalist, translator, novelist, activist, and educator, Juana Paula Manso. She spoke out against racism and slavery, and for women’s emancipation – just our kind of gal.
Rachel de Queiroz
Brazil’s Rachel de Queiroz got her own Google Doodle on November 17, 2017, her 107th birthday. Queiroz was an author, journalist, and translator, in addition to being the first woman to be accepted into the country’s Academia Brasileira de Letras (Brazilian Academy of Letters).
Here is the translation of the tweet below: “Love? Love is something that hurts inside the chest. It hurts slowly, warm, comfortable. It is the hand that comes from the bed next door, at night, and held in his, asleep. And you’d rather keep your arm cold and numb to pull your hand and cut off that contact. So precious is he. Love is to be afraid of almost everything of death, of sickness, of misunderstanding, of fatigue, of custom, of newness. Love can be a rose and can be a steak, a kiss, a spoonful of syrup. But what love is, mainly, are two people in this world.”
Azúcar! For the legendary Celia Cruz’s 88th birthday, Google gave the Cubana singer an artistic homenaje. It’s apropos that her Google is in gold – she did, after all, earn 23 gold albums in her illustrious career.
Violeta Parra – Chilean singer, composer, activist, ethnomusicologist, and more – has been called the Mother of Latin American Folk. She was also a pioneer in the Nueva Cancion Chilena (New Chilean Song) movement. Best known for writing and performing the song, “Gracias a la Vida,” Parra’s Google Doodle was released on October 4, 2017, on what would have been her 100th birthday.
90+ years after Mexia started her intrepid field work, scientists are still studying the 150,000+ samples she gathered 🌱🌿
— Google Doodles (@GoogleDoodles) September 15, 2019
Of course, some of the best Latinx Google Doodles are released during Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15-October 15). One such Doodle was on September 15, 2019, in honor of Mexican botanist and explorer Ynés Mexía, who collected over 150,000 botanical specimens throughout her career which started at the age of 51. Several of Mexia’s finds were new discoveries, and many were named after her.
Elvia Carrillo Puerto
A 2017 #ThrowbackDoodle for Mexican activist Elvia Carrillo Puerto (aka The Red Nun, or La monja roja), who inspired women across the globe to fight for equality & representation ✊#GoogleDoodle → https://t.co/v4efyJ4kqu pic.twitter.com/qTcwloBOF1
— Google Doodles (@GoogleDoodles) December 6, 2019
December 6, 2017, marked the 139th birthday of Elvia Carrillo Puerto, a Mexican socialist politician, and feminist also known as La Monja Roja (The Red Nun). Elvia created the first feminist resistance league, helped women in the Yucatan get the right to vote, and won election to the state legislature in 1923.
Claudio Bravo Camus
"The eye sees so much more than the camera," said acclaimed Chilean artist Claudio Bravo Camus, who fused the classical technique of Spanish Baroque painters with a touch of surrealism 🎨👁️
— Google Doodles (@GoogleDoodles) November 8, 2019
The Google Doodle for November 8, 2019, was an homage to Chilean hyperrealist artist Claudio Bravo Camus, and his unique art, which had Renaissance, Spanish Baroque, and Surrealist influences. The date marks what would have been the Valparaíso native’s 83rd birthday.
— MASSIMOX (@massimox_it) January 30, 2019
Mercedes Sosa is the subject of this January 31, 2109, Google Doodle. The Argentinian folk singer, also known as La Negra for her raven black tresses, was one of the largest artists in the Nuevo Cancionero genre and movement. Her sung words allowed Sosa to become “the voice of the voiceless ones,” during a career that lasted almost six decades.
Mexico’s Independence Day
Happy Independence Day, Mexico! 🇲🇽
Woven into the fabric of Mexican culture, traditional crafts, such as Oaxacan embroidery & children’s toys known as rehiletes, are honored in today's #GoogleDoodle.
— Google Doodles (@GoogleDoodles) September 16, 2019
To celebrate Mexican Independence Day — September 16, 1810 — Google took to their homepage this year to create this fun, animated Google Doodle. It features an interpretation of Oaxacan embroidery, as well as pinwheels, horns, and the colors of the Mexican flag — red, white and green.
When asked about the inspiration for his tales of jealousy, betrayal, & lost love, Brazilian samba composer Lupicínio Rodrigues answered, “my life.”
— Google Doodles (@GoogleDoodles) September 16, 2019
This year, on what would have been his 105th birthday (September 16), Afro-Brazilian singer and composer of samba-canção (sad samba) Lupicinio Rodrigues was honored with a Google Doodle. This cool artwork features a voice bubble with a heart, which breaks when you hover your cursor over it.
Ignacio Anaya Garcia
A salute to Mexican culinary innovator Ignacio Anaya García. His proper name may be less familiar than his nickname: Nacho.
— Google Doodles (@GoogleDoodles) August 15, 2019
Google Doodles are not only pretty to look at, but they also teach us so much about the people who have changed our lives. One such example is Ignacio Anaya Garcia. The Mexican culinary genius, nicknamed Nacho, created the very first nachos, which he dubbed nachos especiales (featuring tortilla chips, sliced, and melted grated Wisconsin cheese. The Doodle honoring him celebrates his 124th birthday, August 14, 2019.
El Salvador’s Independence Day
Student bands have practiced for months to march in a grand parade today. Located between Guatemala & Honduras, the smallest Central American country celebrates independence in a big way 🇸🇻
— Google Doodles (@GoogleDoodles) September 15, 2019
September 15 marks the independence day of five Central American countries — El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Honduras, which once made up the Republica Federal de Centroamerica — from Spain. This cute Google Doodle celebrates each country with an animated GIF of each flag waving proudly. Here is El Salvador’s.
Today's #GoogleDoodle celebrates the birthday of Peruvian singer Lucha Reyes, whose voice was as powerful as her will to succeed.
Defying the odds, she went on to become one of her country’s most beloved singers.
— Google Doodles (@GoogleDoodles) July 19, 2019
Afro-Peruvian singer and performer Lucha Reyes’ 83rd birthday, July 19, 2019, was celebrated with a beautiful Google Doodle. Reyes, known as La Morena de Oro de Peru, and La Reina de la Popularidad, made Canción Criolla, Creole music which mixed Afro-Peruvian and Andean styles, popular. In fact, Peru’s Dia de la Cancion Criolla is celebrated on the day of Lucha’s death, October 31.
One of Latin America’s most acclaimed singers, Julio Jaramillo, became an unofficial ambassador for Ecuador 🇪🇨 His birthday is Día del Pasillo Ecuatoriano, a national holiday honoring the style Jaramillo popularized.
— Google Doodles (@GoogleDoodles) October 1, 2019
Ecuadorian singer Julio Jaramillo’s 84th birthday was celebrated with its own Google Doodle. The artist, born in Guayaquil in 1935, is known as El Ruiseñor de America/The Nightingale of America and sang in the genres of bolero, ranchero, tangos, and Ecuador’s national music genre, pasillo. He recorded thousands of songs, one of which is the super popular, “Nuestro Juramento.”
Today’s animated #GoogleDoodle celebrates the Mexican American actor, singer, & comedian Tin Tan, who brought Mex-Am youth culture to the big screen—including through films like The Jungle Book & The Aristocats.#GoogleDoodle → https://t.co/ZoiChgG4Mo pic.twitter.com/p4MJqFhMUy
— Google Doodles (@GoogleDoodles) September 19, 2019
Animated Google Doodles are so fun to watch, and of course, we love them more when they have to do with Latinx excellence. This one, from September 18, 2019, celebrates Mexican icon Germán Valdés, better known as Tin Tan. The actor, singer, and comedian is known for his pachuco style and language (Caló), as well as for his Spanish dubbing for the Disney films, The Jungle Book, The Aristocats, and The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad.
Argentina’s Independence Day
A celebration so importanté, the President of Argentina himself will attend.
— Google Doodles (@GoogleDoodles) July 9, 2019
Another Latinx independence day recognized by Google’s Google Doodles is that of Argentina. July 9, 1816, marks the day that the South American country announced its freedom from Spanish rule. In 2016, Argentina celebrated 200 years of independence, and three years after that, Google joined in the celebrations with this animated Doodle.
— Google Doodles EN (@Doodle123_EN) October 28, 2018
Birthdays are often the perfect event for Google to celebrate notable Latinxs with their Google Doodles. October 27, 2018, marked the 249th birthday of Venezuelan philosopher, educator, scholar, and humanist Simón Rodriguez. He was a tutor and mentor of Simon Bolivar, The Liberator of Venezuela, Colombia, Panama, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia from Spanish rule.
Mother’s Day in Panama
— Google Doodles EN (@Doodle123_EN) December 8, 2019
In Panama, Mother’s Day is celebrated on December 7. This year, Google paid homage to todas las mamas with this sweet animated Google Doodle, featuring three vignettes of mother duck teaching and protecting her ducklings as only a mom could.
Uruguay’s Independence Day
On this day in 1825, the South American nation of Uruguay declared independence from Brazil, celebrated in today's #GoogleDoodle 🇺🇾
— Google Doodles (@GoogleDoodles) August 25, 2019
August 25, 1825, marks the day that Uruguay broke free from Brazilian rule, and this year, Google joined in on the celebrations with this animated Google Doodle of the flag-waving proudly.
Matilde Hidalgo de Procel
— Google Doodles EN (@Doodle123_EN) November 21, 2019
Matilde Hidaldo de Procel was a woman of firsts. The physician, poet, and activist, who hailed from Ecuador, was the country’s first female doctor (on November 20, 1921). Matilde was also the first woman to vote in Latin America (in 1924), encouraged her nation to become the first to grant suffrage to women, and was the first female to be elected into office (in 1941).
— Google Doodles EN (@Doodle123_EN) March 1, 2019
Desi Arnaz brought Latinismo to television, and therefore into the living rooms of millions of Americans. The Cuban actor, musician, and producer is an undeniable part of pop culture history for his starring role in the classic, I Love Lucy (alongside wife Lucille Ball). On March 1 of this year, Google honored the iconic Latinx, on his 102nd birthday, with an animated Google Doodle showcasing three interpretations of Desi.
Antonio Rivas Mercado
— Google Doodles EN (@Doodle123_EN) February 26, 2019
On his 166th birthday —February 25, 2019 — Mexican architect Antonio Rivas Mercado was celebrated with this colorful Google Doodle. One of the designs he is known for is Mexico City’s Monumento a la Independencia, also known as El Ángel.
Dominican Republic’s Independence Day
— Google Doodles EN (@Doodle123_EN) February 27, 2019
The Dominican Republic celebrates its independence day on February 27. It was on this day, in 1844, that the Latinx nation declared itself separate from Haiti. Google was ready this year for the celebration with its animated Dominican flag Google Doodle.
Dolores del Rio
Today's google doodle is celebrating Dolores del Rio! An icon and trailblazer in American and Mexican cinema! pic.twitter.com/MwmkaK7MGZ
— Andy (@lovewiiitch) August 3, 2017
Mexicana Dolores del Rio was the first Latinx actress to become a star in Hollywood. Known for her immense beauty, the icon also made her mark during Mexico’s Golden Age of Cinema. In a beautiful, floral-trimmed portrait, Google paid homage to the also philanthropist and art advocate with this colorful Google Doodle, on August 3, 2017, her 113th birthday.
Mexican singer & songwriter María Grever is widely considered one of the country’s all-time greatest composers 🇲🇽🎵
— Google Doodles (@GoogleDoodles) February 11, 2021
Mexican singer and composer María Grever is considered one fo the country’s greatest songwriters and she was the first female composer from Mexico to achieve international acclaim. During the span of her career
she wrote more than 800 songs, and is best known for her song “What a Difference a Day Makes” (originally “Cuando Vuelva a Tu Lado”. 25 years later, jazz singer Dinah Washington recorded the song with English lyrics and went on to earn a Grammy award in 1959. The song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1998. Born María Joaquina de la Portilla Torres in central Mexico in 1885, she studied music in France and wrote her first song at the age of 18. She died in 1951. On Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021, a Google Doodle in her honor was released to mark the 83rd anniversary of her recording the hit song “Ti-Pi-Tin,” a waltz about serenading a loved one.
Dr. Ildaura Murillo-Rodhe
In celebration of #HispanicHeritageMonth, today's #GoogleDoodle honors Panamanian-American nurse & educator Dr. Ildaura Murillo-Rohde, who dedicated her life to supporting Hispanic nurses & serving marginalized groups in healthcare 🩺
— Google Doodles (@GoogleDoodles) September 15, 2021
Dr. Ildaura Murillo-Rodhe was a Panamanian nurse and educator who founded the National Association for Hispanic Nurses — then known as Spanish Speaking/Spanish Surnamed Nurses’ Caucus — in 1975 and was their first president. She was born September 6, 1920 to a family of health care workers in Panama and immigrated to San Antonio, Texas in 1945. She noted the cultural and language barriers the Latinx community faced in the world of medicine and dedicated her career to promoting cultural awareness. The artist behind the Google Doodle, launched on the first day of Hispanic Heritage Month 2021, is Loris Lora, a Latinx illustrator and designer based in Los Angeles.
Tito Puente was an American multi-talented musician and internationally-renowned entertainer of Puerto Rican descent. The “Nuyorican” percussionist, composer, songwriter, recording artist, and bandleader is often referred to as “El Rey de los Timbales” and “The King of Latin music.” He was born on April 20, 1923 at Harlem Hospital Center in New York City’s Spanish Harlem, and his career spans five decades. After his death on June 1, 2000 at NYU Langone Health in New York City, he was posthumously recognized at the first-ever Latin Grammy Awards, and the Harlem street where he grew up was renamed Tito Puente Way to honor his life and legacy. On Tuesday, October 11, an animated video Google Doodle honoring his musical career launched on the main page of the search engine; the artist behind the doodle is New York-based Puerto Rican artist Carlos Aponte, who created it in honor of Latinx Heritage Month 2022.