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.

hispan2 Hispanic Heritage Month

(credit:JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

Ways to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month in Houston:

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