What is Hispanic Heritage Month?
Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.
The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September 18.
The Hispanic countries include: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Spain, Uruguay, and Venezuela.The U.S. Hispanic population reached 60.6 million in 2019 with Hispanics making up over 18% of our US population.
Here are some really interesting fun facts about Hispanic Heritage! You might want to share these facts with your family. The potato originated in Peru. Chocolate was first produced in Mexico. Mambo, Salsa, Macarena, Cha-Cha-Cha, Rumba, and Tango dances all come from Latin America. The color tv was invented by a Mexican engineer.The wireless phone system was invented by a Catholic priest in Brazil. The first artificial heart was created from Argentina!
Many Hispanic people you may have heard of have made tremendous contributions to America. Have you ever heard of Baseball Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente, American baseball super star, Alex Rodriguez, NBA star Carmelo Anthony, Famous soccer player Lionel Messi, Sammy Sosa, former MLB baseball player? You may have heard of Christina Aguilera the famous pop singer, the beautiful and talented actress Jennifer Lopez. Did you know that the famous artist Pablo Picasso was born in Spain?
There are so many Hispanic people in our country and right here in our community. If you look around some of your classmates come from Hispanic backgrounds. Hispanic people continue to make contributions to our lives each day. They are athletes, astronauts, authors, doctors, scientists, inventors, artists, and maybe even some of your teachers!!
Have you ever tasted Hispanic food? If you ever ate a taco, a burrito, enchiladas, or a churro you certainly have! I hope you try Ropa Vieja from Cuba, shredded beef with onions, peppers, and salsa! Now if you like seafood, you should try paella (Don’t forget Mrs. Goldstein says two LL’s sound like a y). It’s one of the best known Spanish dishes. Paella means “frying pan.” That’s how it got its name right from the pan it’s cooked in! It’s made with vegetables, seafood in shells, and traditional rice. So yummy!
There are many Hispanic holidays! Have you ever heard of Dia de los Muertos or the Day of the Dead? This holiday is celebrated in Mexico. How about Cinco de Mayo? Cinco de Mayo is celebrated on the fifth of May. Did you know that more Americans and Mexican-Americans celebrate Cinco de Mayo here in the United States than in Mexico. More avocados are sold in the United States in May than any other time of the year! People love to eat guacamole!
There are many movies that depict Hispanic culture. If you have a chance, you may want to view Coco, about Latin culture. Coco is the first ever movie with an all-latino cast! The Book of Life is another animated movie based on Mexican culture and the history of the Day of the Dead holiday! You will love both of these movies! Get some popcorn ready!
Would you like to have some fun? Try making a Puerto Rican instrument called a “guiro.” Instead of using a traditional gourd, remove the label of a 16 oz. water bottle with ridges. Paint and let it dry. To play, just scrape a stick or pencil up and down the bottle. Give it a try! Enjoy your new musical instrument from Puerto Rico.
Hispanic Heritage month is a thoughtful way to celebrate Hispanic culture. Contributions of Hispanic and latino Americans are recognized each year at this time. Did you know that the presence of Hispanic and latino Americans began with the discovery of Christopher Columbus on the morning of October 12, 1492.
There are many interesting books in the school library about famous Hispanic people that have made amazing contributions to America. Check out these books and share what you have learned with your family and friends! Our month long celebration has been a great opportunity to celebrate Hispanic culture right here in our community!