A Group of Friends Honoring Hispanic Heritage Month

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National Hispanic Heritage Month is the month dedicated to paying tribute to the Hispanic heritage, cultures, and contributions of Americans whose ethnic roots originate from Latin American countries. These countries include Mexico, Spain, and countries in the Caribbean and Central and South America. The four-week-long observance of Honoring Hispanic Heritage Month takes place between September 15th and October 15th and invites all Americans to recognize and respect the positive influence and contribution of Hispanic Americans to the country.

What is Hispanic Heritage Month?

According to the 2021 US Census, nearly 18.9% of the population (approximately 62 million people) is represented by Hispanic Americans. Therefore, Hispanic Heritage Month brings awareness for other Americans to embrace the culture and heritage of communities that comprise a significant portion of the United States population.

Between September 15th and October 15th special events and celebrations are held in public and at home for Hispanic Heritage Month. It is the perfect time to try out Hispanic cuisine, learn the language, listen to Spanish music, take up dancing and learn to tango, salsa or rumba.

The diversity of the American population is incredible. It is where different races, cultures, and religions blend together. In such a melting pot of identities, it is essential to encourage acceptance and respect for one another’s cultures so that we can live side by side with each other in peace and harmony. Celebrating cultures that may be different from ours is a beautiful way to build togetherness.

The history behind celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month

The celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month dates back to 1968 when President Lyndon B. Johnson, in the Presidential Proclamation 3869, first introduced paying special tribute to the traditions and contributions of peoples and communities of Hispanic origins in America.

Initially, celebrating Hispanic heritage was only a week-long observance, but in 1988, during Ronald Reagan’s presidency, a law was passed to extend the week to a whole month, from September 15th to October 15th.

Why September 15th, in particular? The date is significant as it marks the anniversary of the independence of several Latin American countries from Spain. These countries are Guatemala, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Honduras. Mexico, Chile, and Belize are other countries that celebrate their independence day around the same time.

5 Hispanic heritage month-inspired ideas for work

Ready to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month? There are many ways to play your part in forging a spirit of togetherness where you live and work. Use this list of inspired ideas to get you started.

  1. Start a Hispanic Heritage Month Book Club

What better way to learn about the Hispanic culture or be inspired by important Hispanic individuals than reading about them? Reading and sharing insights at book club can significantly add to the broader conversation of diverse cultures.

  1. Team lunch themed around Hispanic cuisine

Food is always an excellent way to bring people together, and traditional Hispanic food has a wealth of delicious treats to tempt the taste buds with. If the team is tired of eating out, consider a lesson in Hispanic cooking as a fun team-building activity.

  1. Host a Latin American social-themed dance

There is nothing like Latin American dancing to get the heart rate going. So pair up and learn the rhythm of Latin American dance. The mambo and merengue are great ways to let loose after work and bring co-workers together for a full night out.

  1. Organize a film screening

A more relaxed way to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month at work is to host a movie screening night. There are many movies featuring Hispanic American actors or directors to pick from. A Spanish-speaking film with subtitles in English is another great idea.

  1. Take a virtual tour

Can’t make it to a cultural museum? Bring the museum to you! Many museums, galleries, and cultural sites have online viewing facilities. These online tours can be great for larger audiences by projecting onto a big screen.

Final takeaways …

Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates and honors the Hispanic culture. It is an opportunity to learn about and appreciate the valued contribution of Hispanic American communities in making this country a great place to live.

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