Americans celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. The annual observation recognizes achievements and contributions of those whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.
Hispanic Heritage Week started in 1968 under President Lyndon Johnson. In 1988, President Ronald Reagan expanded the celebration from seven days to 30 days.
Why is Hispanic Heritage Month celebrated in the second half of September?
Five Latin American countries—Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua—gained independence from Spain on Sept. 15, 1821. Mexico, Chile, and Belize became independent on Sept. 16, 18, and 21. So, the celebration begins on Sept. 15.
What is the difference between Hispanic and Latino?
These terms are often used interchangeably but actually means two different things. Hispanic refers to language while Latino refers to location. Hispanics are people who speak Spanish or descend from Spanish-speaking populations. Latinos are people who are from or descended from Latin America. People in many Latin American countries speak Spanish. Brazilians are an example of a Latino population that is not Hispanic. The country’s dominant language is Portuguese.