Each year, in the thirty days between September 15 and October 15, the United States observes National Hispanic Heritage Month. It is a month-long opportunity to celebrate those Americans who trace their roots to Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America, to learn about their histories and admire the many and varied aspects of each group’s culture, music, and food.
The dates chosen for the observance-from the middle of one month to the middle of the next—seem rather odd, but there are good reasons for this: September 15th marks the Independence Day of 5 Central American countries--Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica, while September 16 is Mexico’s Independence Day.
First proclaimed as a National Hispanic Heritage Week in 1968 by President Lyndon B. Johnson, two decades later President Ronald Reagan extended the observance to a full month.
“During National Hispanic Heritage Month, we recognize that Hispanic heritage is American heritage,” said President Joe Biden.
Indeed, people of Hispanic heritage have had a profound influence on the United States, contributing significantly to our national development, and continue to do so every day.
“In every aspect of our national life, we see it: arts and culture. Health workers fighting COVID-19. Diplomats. Military members who serve our country. Educators teaching our children. And the front-line workers who carried the country on their backs through this pandemic. … We celebrate the contributions of Latinos in our nation. We re-commit to working with our neighbors in Latin America and the Caribbean to ensure a secure, prosperous and democratic future.”
“National Hispanic Heritage Month,” said President Biden, “is an important reminder of how much strength we draw as a nation from our immigrant roots and our values as a nation of immigrants.”