Celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month

Each year between September 15 and October 15, the nation observes Hispanic Heritage Month to celebrate the diverse cultures of Spanish-speaking nations and especially to honor the contributions and accomplishments of those in the Hispanic community who have had an impact on US history, politics, and culture.

The Whole Child recognizes National Hispanic Heritage Month in a number of ways: by providing educational and cultural resources, sharing stories and perspectives from among our own team members, and recognizing Hispanic pioneers in social service fields.

History of Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month actually began as a commemorative week when it was first introduced in June of 1968 by California Congressman George E. Brown who represented East Los Angeles and a large portion of the San Gabriel Valley.

The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988.

The push to recognize the contributions of the Hispanic community had gained momentum throughout the 1960s when the civil rights movement was at its peak and there was a growing awareness of the United States’ multicultural identities.

The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September18, respectively. Also, Columbus Day or Día de la Raza, which is October 12, falls within this 30-day period.

Cultural Resources

Movies:

Documentaries:

Books:

Hispanic Owned Businesses (local and national)

  • HomeState
    4624 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90027 (other locations as well)
    https://www.myhomestate.com/hollywood-blvd-los-angeles/ 
    HomeState is a Texas Kitchen in Southern California that shares breakfast tacos, queso, brisket, house-made flour tortillas, and genuine hospitality. In 2013, Briana “Breezy” Valdez, the daughter of first-generation Mexican-American parents, founded HomeState in Los Angeles to share her Texas identity through food and hospitality.
  • Latinx With Plants
    2208 Cesar Chavez, Los Angeles, CA 90033
    https://latinxwithplants.com/
    Latinx with Plants first bloomed on March 23rd, 2019, out of admiration for the community @blackwithplants was cultivating and a desire to contribute to celebrating people of color in the plant world.
  • Mercadito Monarca
    696 E. Colorado Blvd., Ste 19, Pasadena, CA 91103
    https://mercaditomonarca.com/
    Mercadito Monarca carries unique handmade gifts, including apparel, home décor, jewelry, art, etc. They also host culturally relevant craft workshops and sell related craft kits. They look to celebrate our cultural roots and inspire others to reclaim and preserve their own.
  • Postres Café
    16801 Bellflower Blvd.
    https://www.postrescafe.com/
    Postres Café is an enchanting dessert shop and cafe in Downtown Bellflower, Los Angeles. Hispanic and woman-owned, our story began when owner Gabriela M. C. decided to take a leap of faith and make her dreams come true, partnering up with her father and her sister Celeste to create a warm-hearting place where people could feel at home, enjoy delicious food and drinks, and spend a lovely time with family and friends.
  • 30 Latinx-Owned Brands to Shop Beyond Hispanic Heritage Month:
  • 83 Latinx-Owned Businesses to Shop in 2023

Additional History and Educational Resources

Social Media Profiles of Innovators