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9 things to know about Hispanic Heritage Month

ORLANDO, Fla. — Happy Hispanic Heritage Month!

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National Hispanic Heritage Month is a time to celebrate Hispanic Americans and honor their culture and history.

Sept. 15. marks a special time of the year for Hispanic and Latinx communities nationwide.

In a month-long celebration, communities across the country celebrate the history, culture, and significant contribution of American citizens whose ancestors came from the Caribbean, Spain, or Central and South America.

Read: Sunset at the Zoo to celebrate Hispanic culture in September

But many people still don’t know the significance of this month.

Here we have nine things you should know about Hispanic Heritage Month:

  • Hispanic Heritage Month begins on Sept. 15 for a reason: Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica, and Guatemala all observe their Independence Day on that date. Also, Mexico (Sept. 16) and Chile (Sept. 18) celebrate Independence Day that month.
  • Hispanic Heritage Month was once a week-long celebration: In 1968, President Lyndon B. Johnson introduced Hispanic Heritage Week. In a proclamation, he explained that American citizens “of Hispanic descent are the heirs of missionaries, captains, soldiers, and farmers who were motivated by a young spirit of adventure and a desire to settle freely in a free land. This heritage is ours.”
  • President Reagan expanded the week celebration to a month: Hispanic Heritage Week became Hispanic Heritage Month in 1988, signed into law by President Ronald Reagan in the Whitehouse Rose Garden.

Read: Central Florida county offers Citizens Police Academy for Spanish speakers

  • Every year, Hispanic Heritage Month has a theme: In 2022, the theme was Unidos: Inclusivity for a Stronger Nation. The 2023 theme is Latinos: Driving Prosperity, Power, and Progress in America.
  • There are 20 Hispanic countries and one Hispanic territory: Puerto Rico is the only Hispanic territory. Countries where Spanish is the official language are Colombia, El Salvador, Mexico, Honduras, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Ecuador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Costa Rica, Peru, Spain, Uruguay, Panama, Venezuela, and Equatorial Guinea.
  • Spanish is the second most popular language in the nation: After English, Spanish is the most spoken language in the United States. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, over 40 million people are Spanish speakers.

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  • Who would be a Hispanic person? Anyone who is from or has ancestors from a Spanish-speaking territory or country.
  • Twenty percent of the U.S. population identifies as Hispanic: According to the U.S. Census Bureau, over 60 million people identify as Hispanic.
  • There are many ways to celebrate this month, even if you are not Hispanic: Hispanic Heritage Month is a community celebration; you can always support Hispanic-owned local businesses, attend festivals and parades, and try some Hispanic food & drinks!


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