What do singers Selena Quintanilla and Camila Cabello, astronaut José Hernández, activists Dolores Huerta and César Chávez, baseball player Roberto Clemente, journalist Jorge Ramos, and actor Edward James Olmos all have in common? As you can tell from their names, they are just a few of the thousands of Latinxs who have influenced and contributed to American history in the 20th and 21st century.
The Hispanic population in the United States has reached 58 million, turning it into the second largest ethnic group in this country. The first official recognition of this community was in September 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week, but in 1988, it became Hispanic Heritage Month. The celebration starts on September 15, as this day marks the anniversary of the independence of countries such as El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, and Costa Rica, followed by Mexico on September 16, and Chile on September 18. The month ends on October 15, just after Columbus Day (October 12), known as “Día de la Raza” in most Latin American countries.
It is great to see that more and more institutions and organizations, both public and private, are joining this party all over the US in order to celebrate the influence and contributions of Latinxs in American culture. Here are some of the events that will be held to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month.
Photo: Keith Widyolar
New York City
The city that never sleeps will also be the city where culture and food are celebrated, as it is the city with the largest Hispanic community in the US . Public parks in New York City will host several activities all through Hispanic Heritage Month, showing films like Frida, Under the Same Moon, and Neruda.
On October 7, the Hispanic community will celebrate in the 54th Annual Hispanic Day Parade, a celebration that every year gathers more than 800,000 spectators on the streets of New York. People of Latin American descent of all ages show their pride by wearing their flag and colorful national dresses.
Ballet Hispánico will also host a street celebration on September 16, where dance, music, arts, culture and cuisine will be part of the program in the heart of Manhattan’s Upper West Side.
The Smithsonian Institution holds a series of events, such as lectures about some of the most important characters that have helped shape the Hispanic community in the United States, such as Dolores Huerta, César Chávez, Frida Kahlo, and José Limón. They will also host a family day with Disney Pixar’s Coco at the American History Museum, and give tours at the Smithsonian American Art Museum highlighting works by Hispanic artists. You can check the full calendar of activities here.
On September 15 and 16, The Fiesta DC will have a parade and a big festival with singers such as Pablo Montero and Samantha Rios, and bands like La Zona Banda, Triunfadores del Cuatro, and La Grandeza Norteña.
As it happened on September 16, 1810, when Miguel Hidalgo proclaimed Mexico’s Independence, the popular “Grito de Dolores” is already a tradition in Los Angeles. The celebration includes the reenactment of the historic cry, and a festival with music and food. The ceremony will be held at City Hall.
Mexican-American singer Lila Downs will offer a concert at the Dolby Theatre on September 29, where she will bring the audience along on a journey through Mexican and Latin American sounds. And if you want to try some of the best tequila, you can go to the Museum of Latin American Art, where they will host a tequila tasting on October 7 to enjoy The Spirit of Agave.
The San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park in San Francisco will have a special program on September 23 with a lecture about Diego Rivera’s murals, and also maritime folklore. Mariachi music, children’s books about migration, snacks from Colombia and Mexico, and handcraft workshops are some of the special activities offered by the San Francisco Public Library, so mark your calendar to learn more about Latin American cultures.
Cover photo: @mr_mike_fuentes
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