What began as a weeklong event in 1968 has evolved into a 30-day nationwide celebration of Hispanic Americans. Hispanic Heritage Month begins September 15 to coincide with the independence days of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In NYC, the month honors the community and influence of Hispanic citizens through events like the Latino Short Film Festival, Queens Culture Carnival and the flagship annual Hispanic Day Parade.
While COVID-19 forced the postponement of local celebrations, organizers are redirecting their energy to an equally important mission of representation.
National Hispanic Heritage Month (HHM) is observed by Americans across the United States. The celebration began in 1968, under President Lyndon B. Johnson, and was made a month-long celebration in 1988 by the U.S. Congress. Calendared between September 15 and October 15. Hispanic Heritage Month coincides with the independence days of Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Belize.
Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates the myriad of cultures within Latin and Spanish-speaking countries, and the contributions of those peoples to America. America itself has the second largest Spanish-speaking population of any country in the world, smaller only than Mexico. Generations of Hispanic Americans have enriched our nation by making contributions in science, education, the arts, and politics.
So, although the pandemic canceled most large-scale celebrations this year, event organizers are making sure their heritage isn’t lost.
This year, in lieu of parades, there is a different type of activism.
Community activists say taking the time to fill out the 2020 census is the best way to showcase your pride and heritage with direct implications for years to come. Read more about the important of the Census and the LatinX Community here. Learn how to get counted here.
Here’s a short list of in person and virtual activities:
LATINOS RUN HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH RUN Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month by joining others for a celebration run! The annual Latinos Run Hispanic Heritage Month Run is for everyone who believes in the power of the Latino Community.
Join Latinos Run and On for an easy 3 mIle Run or 1 mile walk. This is a family friendly event open to all.
REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED: Register here
*** Due to COVID-19 everyone attending the event to wear a mask
Event starts at 8am, please make sure to arrive 30 minutes early to check in
DATE: Saturday October 10 TIME: 8am - 10am (arrive early for check-in) LOCATION: 10 Columbus Cir, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10019
To observe proper social distancing measures, please refer to the CDC Guidelines.
Americas Award Ceremony, On Oct 12th, Join the Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs (CLASP) and the Hispanic Division of the Library of Congress through a virtual, pre-recorded ceremony honoring the winners of the 2020 Américas Award. The Américas Award celebrates Latin American, Hispanic-American, and LatinX creators and their work in youth and children’s literature. Free tickets are available via Eventbrite
The Latino Center at the Smithsonian Institution has listed a number of resources online along with online Exhibitions and Videos
- Latino DC: Local, National & Global Stories Come Together
- DC Latino Street Murals: A Virtual Tour
- Cerámica de los Ancestros - Central America's Past Revealed
- Other virtual exhibits
- Music Performances and Interviews with Artists and Smithsonian Curators
Latino Center at the Smithsonian Institution also has: Our Journeys/Our Stories: Portraits of Latino Achievement
This resource explores the diversity of the Latino experience in its portrayal of a group of extraordinary men and women and the stories they tell. Like the exhibition, this companion book combines personal narratives, portraits, and dichos, or traditional sayings, to provide an inspirational, illustrated anthology of Latino accomplishments across generations. Visit the Our Journeys/Our Stories Learning Lab.
Nuestra América: 30 Inspiring Latinas/Latinos Who Have Shaped the United States
Nuestra América is a fully illustrated anthology from the Smithsonian Latino Center. It features the inspiring stories of thirty Latina/o/xs. It celebrates their contributions to the United States. Many are towards the nation’s cultural, social, and political character. For more information on this book visit the Nuestra América page. For accompanying online resources featuring Smithsonian collections, visit the Nuestra América Learning Lab.
AFI Silver Theatre‘s is offering recommendations during its Latin American Film Festival, running from Sept. 25 to Oct. 7. You can subscribe to the entire schedule, or purchase films for streaming individually. See the trailer below. The films include works from directors based in Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Guatemala, Chile and the United States. “The Heist of the Century,” scheduled for Sept. 25, is based on one of the most famous bank robberies in the history of Argentina, and is also the premise for the popular series “Money Heist.”
The National Portrait Gallery, is curating an online program throughout the month designed for younger audiences. It’s called Young Portrait Explorers, and throughout the next 25 days, it will feature luminaries including Supreme Court justice Sonia Sotomayor (Oct. 20) and musician Selena (Sept. 22).
The Celebrate Mexico Now Festival brings contemporary Mexican culture to New York City. It’s curated by Claudia Norman, New York City’s leading producer of world-class Mexican culture.
The Festival has a special relevance because though Latino in New York City is mostly Caribbean, across the United States Latino is mostly Mexican.
In some ways, the contemporary culture of Mexico City is more progressive than the contemporary culture of New York City. The Celebrate Mexico Now Festival is always worth looking into. It illuminates a little bit of who we are and who we can be.