Hispanic is a term that describes an ancestral relationship to Hispania, the Iberian Peninsula, Portugal and Spain.
It is also a description used by the Census Bureau to categorize people that identify themselves as being of Spanish-speaking background and trace their origin or descent from a variety of nations like Spanish-speaking Equatorial Guinea in Africa, Cuba, Argentina, Spain, Guam, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Central and South America and other Spanish-speaking countries. The Census bureau uses this term because of a 1976 law that was used to track the amount of Spanish-speaking people using schools, public health facilities, government entities and agencies.
Hispanic Heritage Month was originally a week long and recognized by Lyndon Johnson, in 1968. It was extended to a full month and finalized into law by Reagan, in 1988. It begins September 15 and ends October15.
“National Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates and recognizes the contributions Hispanic Americans have made to American society and culture and to honor five of our Central American neighbors who celebrate their independence in September” (Library of Congress).
September 15 is the anniversary of independence for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September18, Columbus Day is also celebrated at this time.
Ways to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month in Houston:
- Houston Public Library celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month with educational programs and entertaining activities for the entire family.
- View art and historical contributions at the Museum of Fine Art, Museum of Natural Science, and go interactive with the Museum District Website to learn more.
- Cultural music, dancing, food and activities for children take place at Trader’s Village. Pay for parking but admission is free.
- HCC Northeast presents Hispanic Heritage Art Show