As the nation marks Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, Americans celebrate the cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors hail from countries in Latin America, Spain, the Caribbean and Mexico. It’s an important moment in time when we remember how Hispanic and Latino Americans have shaped the nation over 500 years.
There are now more togel singapore than 62.6 million Hispanics in the United States, making up one of every five people in this country and the population is continuing to grow. In fact, the three states with the largest Hispanic populations are California, Texas and Florida, each with four out of 10 people who identify as Hispanic or Latino.
While Hispanic Heritage Month has been a national observance for over 40 years, many communities still struggle to make space for these voices and stories. Despite these facts, many organizations are working to bring Hispanic and Latino histories and cultures into the mainstream.
Hispanic Heritage Month began in 1968 with a push by Congressman Esteban Torres to expand what was then called National Hispanic Week into a month-long occasion, which would “allow our nation to properly observe and coordinate events and activities to celebrate Hispanic culture and achievement.” His bill passed the House but died in the Senate, however, in 1987, Representative Paul Simon of Illinois introduced a similar proposal which ultimately became law under President Ronald Reagan on August 17, 1988.
Despite the growing numbers of Hispanics in the United States, some still question whether a blanket panethnic identity is necessary to unify such diverse communities under a shared label. For Saudi Garcia, a racial justice activist and conflict resolution facilitator at In Cultured Company who identifies as Dominican-Haitian, the term Hispanic is problematic because it erases nuances of race, culture, language and class that should be considered when talking about Hispanics in this country.
There is so much to celebrate about the diversity of Hispanic culture and heritage, but we shouldn’t be afraid to examine the complexities that come along with such a broad and inclusive umbrella term. We can explore the history of Latino people through museums, like the Smithsonian which has a variety of online learning tools and resources for families, as well as local museums that feature Hispanic content and collections.
Another way to get more acquainted with the communities and traditions of Hispanics is through a podcast like this one from the Latinos on Fast Track series, which aims to connect with children of all ages by bringing the voices of young Latinos and their families into the conversation about what it means to be Latino in America today. Or try a hands-on activity like this DIY Loteria board, inspired by the traditional game from Mexico. We’re also excited to share the latest version of our Health Equity Report Card, which allows you to see your local Latino-focused data alongside broader national indicators for issues like housing, transportation and poverty, as well as social vulnerability and COVID-19.