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Hispanic Heritage Month kicks off

From September 15th-October 15th the nation honors Hispanic Heritage Month, a celebration of all the ways the country's Latinx population contributes to the American tapestry.

By Allen Junek ‘18

What do the countries of Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Costa Rica all have in common? Besides all of them being Latin American countries and sharing similar cultures, each of these countries declared independence from Spain on September 15, 1821. Mexico and Chile’s independence days quickly follow on September 16 and 18, respectively.

Due to the United States’ increasing Latinx population, these dates have taken on a cultural significance for many U.S. citizens and immigrants alike.

So, to recognize the many contributions immigrants from these countries and their descendants have made in the United States, President Lyndon B. Johnson established Hispanic Heritage Week in 1968. It wasn’t long before the weeklong celebration was expanded in 1988, marking the first ever Hispanic Heritage Month.

“While many of us celebrate our Latino heritage on a daily basis–in the foods we eat, the languages we speak, or with the music we listen to–having official recognition during this month allows us to highlight for ourselves and for others the many ways in which we contribute to what is the American tapestry,” said José Villalobos, associate professor in the Department of Hispanic Studies and director of undergraduate studies.

Hispanic Heritage Month officially ends on October 15, just days after the Latin American holiday Dia de la Raza.

“‘Día de la Raza,’ is a day of remembrance, celebration, and recognition of the continent’s indigenous roots,” Villalobos said.

Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated by parades, festivals, and art exhibits nationwide.

For a full list of Hispanic Heritage Month events in Aggieland, click here.