September is National Hispanic Heritage Month. It honors the culture of Latin America and celebrates the contributions of the Hispanic people. Established by legislation sponsored by Rep. Edward R. Roybal of Los Angeles in 1968, the month has grown into a month, from September 15 to October 15. Throughout the year, people can celebrate Hispanic culture and heritage through various programs sponsored by the National Park Service. For more information, visit hispanic.org.
Hispanic is a common term used in the U.S., but it can refer to people of any race or ethnicity. The word “hispanic” first appeared on the U.S. Census in 1980. Hispanic is now commonly used in the eastern United States. People of all races identify themselves as Hispanic. But what does it mean to be Hispanic? And is it really important? And, how do you know if you’re Hispanic?
The most prominent group among Hispanics in the United States are people of Mexican origin. They make up a majority of the nation’s Hispanic population – about six out of every ten people residing here are of Mexican origin. Second in size is the Puerto Rican community, with 5.8 million residents. In 2020, Puerto Ricans will account for 3.3 million people. This group has been growing in recent years, because people from Puerto Rico have been moving to the United States. Next in number are Guatemalans, with a population of more than 50,000 people.
As Hispanics become more prominent in the U.S., their voices are often silenced and marginalized. While many of us are proud of our ethnic background, the majority of Hispanics identify as “other,” and that means they’re often not heard. But it’s important to acknowledge the diverse backgrounds and experiences of the Hispanic community. And when it comes to celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, we should celebrate the contributions of Hispanics in the United States.
The term Hispanic has two meanings in the United States. Latino is a more accurate term. It refers to people of Spanish-speaking countries in Latin America, excluding Brazil. Latino is a broad category that includes more than a dozen countries and one territory. So, if you’re Spanish, you’re Hispanic. But if you’re not sure which is more accurate, consult a professional for help.