National Latino Heritage Month is a celebration dedicated to honoring the incredible and powerful community of Latino artists, activists and people in general.
Below you will find out more about its origins and relevance.
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This celebration began as a week-long commemoration of the Latino community in the United States when it was introduced in 1968 by California congressman George E. Brown. Later, the celebration was approved by Congress, which requested the president to issue annual proclamations to mark the beginning of National Latino Heritage Week. Later, as each president issued his annual proclamations, the celebration was expanded to an entire month!
National Latino Heritage Month was officially expanded in 1988. It is now celebrated from September 15 to October 15 each year. It is also known as National Hispanic Heritage Month, although this name is exclusionary of those Latinos/as whose native language is not Spanish.
But why was this start date chosen?
The start of Latin Heritage Month coincides with the Independence Day celebrations of several Latin American countries. On September 15, 1821, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua declared their independence from Spain. Mexico declared its independence from Spain just one day later, on September 16 of the same year. As for Belize, it celebrated its independence from Great Britain on September 21, 1981.
Thus, National Latino Heritage Month honors the independence of nations, and calls for remembrance and celebration throughout the Latino community.
People who identify as Latino and/or Hispanic are a very diverse group. For that reason, they embrace a wide variety of cultural expressions and races. Celebrating latinidad can be experienced in many ways!
So, happy National Latino Heritage Month from the SALUD team! Soon we will share with you more about Latino culture throughout history and how the community has grown in the United States.