September 15 marked the first day of National Hispanic Heritage Month. The purpose of the celebration is to commemorate the cultural influences that U.S. Latinos, whose ancestors came from Mexico, Spain, the Caribbean, and Central and South America, have
established in society throughout the years. It begins in the middle of the month because the national Independence day of several Latin American countries, specifically Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua, coincides on September
15. Additionally, Mexico and Chile celebrate their Independence days on September 16 and 18. Columbus Day, which falls on October 12, is also considered part of the celebration period. Congressional awareness of the event started in
1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week; it was expanded to an entire month twenty years later in 1988, thus concluding the celebration on October 15.
Between 2010 and 2019, U.S. Latinos enrolled in higher education institutions jumped from 2.9 million to 3.6 million. This change is likely due to an increasingly bi-lingual or multi-lingual American population; from 2010 to 2020, Hispanics have made
up more than half of total U.S. population growth.
AACRAO’s Latinx Caucus Chair, Soraira Urquiza, shares her thoughts on the value of education and opportunity from her cultural perspective.
I’ve always been very passionate about education. I’m a first-generation college student. My parents are from Mexico, so education was always really emphasized as our ticket-out or ticket-up.
Throughout the 30-day celebration, members from AACRAO’s Latinx Caucus will share their recommendations on various recipes, music, films, books, and education through AACRAO’s Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. If you’re interested in learning more
about the various Hispanic cultures, watch one of the Caucus’s documentary recommendations:
More resources and information can be found here