Hispanic Heritage Month (Mes Nacional de la Herencia Hispana) began as Hispanic Heritage Week, the Hispanic Heritage Week was established by legislation sponsored by Rep. Edward R. Roybal of Los Angeles and was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson 1968. In 1988 the commemorative week was expanded to a month September 15 to October 15 by Esteban Edward Torres amended by senator Paul Simon and signed into law by President Ronald Reagan. September 15 was chosen because it is the anniversary of Independence of five Hispanic countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua who declared Independence in 1821. Also Mexico, Belize and Chile celebrate their Independence days September 16, 18 and 21.
This years theme is: “Hispanics: Be Proud of Your Past, Embrace the Future” – invites Hispanics to embrace their backgrounds , to be proud of who they are and where they came from.
As of July 1, 2019, the Hispanic population of the United States was 60.6 million people, making people of Hispanic origin the nation’s largest ethnic or racial minority (18.5% of the total U.S. population). Additionally:
- The United States has the 2nd largest population of Hispanic people in the world, second only Mexico.
- 61.9% were of Mexican background, 9.7% Puerto Rican, 4% Cuban, 3.9% Salvadoran, 3.5% Dominicano, and 2.5% Guatemalan (in 2018).
- 12 states have over 1 million Hispanic residents: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania & Texas.
- 1.28 million Hispanics are Veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces (in 2018).
- 4.65 million businesses in the U.S. were Hispanic-owned (in 2018).
What It Really Means to Be Hispanic
Language is a very important part of Hispanic culture. It is what essentially defines the community and provides a shared connection between the people from each Hispanic country. But being Hispanic goes beyond language. Being Hispanic is about the tradition, values, and heritage. Hispanic is the foundation with which people are able to associate and helps them define their roots to discover who they are and who they can become. To be Hispanic means to be brought together through a language and celebrating what makes you and your community unique.
What Makes the Hispanic Community Unique?
To the Hispanic community, there are core values that tie every person together, often referred to as the Five F’s. The five F’s of Hispanic culture are family, fiesta, faith, food and fútbol.
Family or “familia” means more than just parents and siblings; it means a strong relationship that instills in people the importance of honor, good manners and respect. Fiestas are defined by celebration, and to many are regarded as the best way to become immersed in the culture of the Hispanic community. Most Hispanic people identify as Catholic, a faith they have kept since it was introduced in Spain and brought to the new world, and regard their religion as a key part of their culture. Like many ethnicities, the food and flavors of Hispanic cultures are something people are proud to share with others and use as a way to connect with their family history. Fútbol, or soccer, is a passion, and is regarded in the Hispanic community as high as most Americans regard American Football.
Even though the Hispanic Heritage Month is only 3 days away from being over for this year I just wanted to share a little bit of this topic with you. With being Latina and having Hispanic ancestors I’m proud who I am and where I come from…
Where I’m currently living we celebrate each countries which Independence Day (Peru, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Cuba etc..). The Government looks at the % of the different nationalities that are residents here in Aruba. Nonetheless I always say “We Are All One” and Love is Love no matter the ethnicity, color, gender, hair type or language.