During this Hispanic Heritage month, America celebrates and honors the traditions, history, culture, heritage and contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans. Many residents or their ancestors have come to the United States from more than 20 countries including Spain, Central America, South America, Mexico and the Caribbean. They have enhanced and shaped the national character of the United States.
In 1968 this started as Hispanic Heritage WEEK by President Lyndon Johnson. In 1988 President Ronald Reagan increased it to cover the 30-day period.
The beginning day of September 15 is significant because it celebrates the anniversary of independence for the Central American countries of El Salvador, Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala, and Nicaragua. At first we thought this was remarkable, since these countries don’t agree on much. But after further investigation we discovered that on this day in 1821, Central American notables accepted a plan drafted by Mexican Agustín de Iturbide that declared the 5 nations free from Spain. Also, Mexico and Chile’s independence days are September 16 and September18, and Columbus Day, October 12, falls within this period.
According to the 2010 Census, 50.5 million people or 16% of the population of the United States were of Hispanic or Latino origin. This is quite an increase from 2000 when the Hispanic population was 35.3 million or 13% of the total U.S. population. It is projected that by 2060 the Hispanic population will be 128.8 million or 31 percent.
The Hispanic influence started with the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus on the morning of October 12, 1492. Other interesting facts are (1) a map of late 18th-century North America shows the small outpost of San Francisco founded in 1776, (2) the Spanish province of Texas had its vaqueros (cowboys), and (3) the fortress of St. Augustine, Florida, was the first North American continuous European settlement, founded in 1565, which was decades before Jamestown, Virginia, came to be.
One Nielsen survey showed that celebrating Heritage Hispanic Month or Independence Day by Latinos is done by parties at home (44%), attending Latino music concerts (44%), attending celebrations and festivals by governments (35%), academic organizations (25%) and employers (10%). Good food and music are prime components of such events.
Some celebrations that are scheduled for this year around the country include:
September 21, noon to 6:00 p.m., Lane Manor Park in Adephi, Maryland. Live music, ethnic food, games, pony rides, face painting, and more.
September 18 through October 8, 2014. Silver Spring, MD. The best filmmaking from Latin America and Ibero-American cultural connections with the inclusion of films from Portugal and Spain.
September 21. Washington, DC. Downtown. Includes a parade, international cuisine, a children’s festival, a science fair, arts and crafts, and much more.
September 21, 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Hispanic and Latino music, animal demonstrations, costumed dancers, traditional crafts, and Latin American foods.
September 15 through October 15. Spanish-language guided tours, printed guides and audio guides to the art collection.
Hundreds of films, exhibitions and performances.
This Southern California hillside theater features the unique theatrical group called the Mexican Players., which for more than 40 years has performed Spanish language folk dramas.
Hispanic Heritage Month is coming to a close, and we’re celebrating all the rich culture it has to offer! Learn about some of these Hispanic countries, and hear some traditional folk tales.
We hope you will celebrate at one of the festival listed or have your own!!