5 Activities to Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month spans from September 15 to October 15. Currently, 18.7% of the US population is made up of people of Hispanic origin. Growing over 2.4 percentage points over the last decade, this makes those of Hispanic origin the second largest racial or ethnic group in the United States (Census.gov). As such, this year’s theme for Hispanic Heritage Month focuses on celebrating the inclusion of Hispanic heritage within the multicultural nation. Hispanic Heritage Month is a time for those who identify as Hispanic to celebrate the traditions and history that stem from their cultural background. The theme for 2022 is Unidos: Inclusivity for a Stronger Nation.

Did You Know…

  • September 15, 1821 is the day when Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua declared their independence from Spain.
  • President Lyndon B. Johnson established National Hispanic Heritage Week in 1968.
  • In 1988, President Ronald Reagan extended the holiday to a month.
  • There are 21 Spanish-speaking countries in North America, South America, Europe, and Africa.
  • Latino refers to someone from Latin American descent, which includes non-Spanish speaking countries like Brazil. The term Latinx is becoming more widely used.
  • If you count people who speak Spanish as a second language, then there are more Spanish-speaking people in the United States than in Spain.
  • The largest Hispanic populations by state are California, Texas and Florida.
  • The world’s longest mountain range is the Andes Mountains, found in South America.
  • 20% of the world’s oxygen is produced in South America’s Amazon rainforest.
  • The Amazon River is the largest river in the world.
  • Chichén Itzá in Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula is one of the seven wonders of the world.
  • Another one of the seven wonders of the world is the Incan side Machu Picchu located in Peru.
  • Chocolate can be traced back to the Aztec and Mayan civilizations.
  • Famous Latin foods: tacos, tamales, arepas, ceviche, rice and beans, flan.

Hispanic heritage is rich with culture and traditions. Samantha Vincenty and Marielle Marlys compiled a list of activities to help celebrate this month in Oprah Daily. Read their full article here. We’ve made a list of some of our favorite activities from their suggestions.

1. Take a virtual tour. Travel the great sites that make up two of the seven wonders of the world, all from your home. Chichén Itzá in Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, and Machu Picchu in Peru. Some other key sites to explore are: the Christ the Redeemer statue in Brazil, the Amazon River, Easter Island, Cusco in Peru.

2. Try a classic Latin American dish. You’ve probably had a taco, or tamales, but why not try something more authentic. Something like an Empanada from Chile, Asado from Argentina, Gallo Pinto from Costa Rica, or Mole from Mexico.

3. Take a dance class. Latin dancing is spirited, energetic and fun. Some notable dances you might want to try include: salsa, merengue, mambo, rumba, cha-cha, and flamenco.

4. Watch a Spanish-language TV show. There’s many to choose from on popular streaming sites, like Netflix or Hulu. Choose a show that highlights Hispanic history or culture. Or, choose a Spanish-speaking original, like Street Food: Latin America or Nailed It! Mexico.

5. Read a book. There are plenty of Hispanic-themed novels out there. We suggest reading one written by a Hispanic author. Our suggestion, Esperanza Rising written by Mexican-American author Pam Muñoz Ryan. The fictional story is based loosely on the author’s grandmother’s own immigration to California. Check out our related Novel Study Guides and FREE bonus worksheets to pair with your Hispanic-themed novel of choice.

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