National Hispanic Heritage Month

Established by a Presidential Executive Order in 1968 | President Lyndon B. Johnson

During National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 to October 15) we recognize the contributions made and the important presence of Hispanic and Latino Americans to the United States and celebrate Latino heritage and cultures. Latinos have had a profound and positive influence on our country through a strong commitment to family, faith, hard work, and service. Latinos have enhanced and shaped our national character with centuries-old traditions that reflect the multiethnic and multicultural customs of their community.

Hispanic Heritage Month, which dates back to 1968, begins each year on September 15, the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Mexico, Chile and Belize also celebrate their independence days during this period and Columbus Day (Día de la Raza) is October 12.

The term Hispanic or Latino, refers to Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin regardless of race. On the 2010 Census form, people of Spanish, Hispanic and/or Latino origin could identify themselves as Mexican, Mexican American, Chicano, Puerto Rican, Cuban, or "another Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin."

According to this Census, 60.1 million people or 18% of the population are of Hispanic or Latino origin. This represents a significant increase from 2010, which registered the Hispanic population at 50 million or 13% of the total U.S. population.

You can participate in this special annual tribute by learning and celebrating the generations of Hispanic Americans who have positively influenced and enriched our nation and society. Let us know if you are hosting an event to celebrate - register below.

National Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated in the U.S. from September 15 to October 15.

Why these dates?
During this time, Latinos nationwide celebrate the anniversary of independence for five Latin American countries—Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico declared its independence on September 16, and Chile on September 18. Spain celebrates its Independence Day on Oct. 12, but in Mexico it is also known as Día de La Raza because that is when Columbus discovered America and started a “new race.” Click here to see the dates of the celebration by our diverse Spanish-speaking, Latin American and Central American cultures.

Most importantly, this month-long celebration of Latino heritage aims to promote an awareness of Latino issues, struggles, and triumphs, bringing together individual and collective histories in order to form a deeper understanding of who we are today.