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Hispanic Heritage Month begins on September 15 and ends on October 15, and is a time to recognize the history, contributions, and culture of the Hispanic and Latinx community in the United States. The celebration was originally founded as a weeklong observance in 1968, but about two decades later, it was expanded to 31 days.
Throughout Hispanic Heritage Month, we celebrate the cultures of those who trace their ancestry back to Spain, Mexico, and Spanish-speaking countries and territories in the Caribbean, Central America, and South America. These countries include Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Uruguay, and Venezuela. And the time period in which we observe Hispanic Heritage Month is significant — September 15 marks the anniversary of independence for Costa Rica, Equatorial Guinea, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. One day later, on September 16, Mexico celebrates their independence, while Chile honors theirs on September 18.
There are tons of ways to celebrate Hispanic heritage, as towns and cities hold festivals, art shows, and museum exhibitions throughout the month that highlight artists, musicians, and community leaders. You can also honor the culture by cooking Latin American dishes, reading Latinx authors, and supporting local Latinx-owned businesses. Looking for more options? Below, we list a number of fun and festive activities to do this Hispanic Heritage Month, and beyond.
Read books by Hispanic and Latinx authors
For your next reads, select books by Hispanic and Latinx authors. These novels illustrate powerful stories about the culture and experiences of the Hispanic and Latinx communities not only in the United States but throughout the world. From Elizabeth Acevedo’s Clap When You Land to Crystal Maldonado’s No Filter and Other Lies, there are so many YA titles to add to your library.
Cook Latin American dishes
Our mouths are watering just thinking of the many incredible Latin American recipes you can make. Try Peruvian ceviche, a seafood dish bursting with citrus flavor, or Guatemalan Pepián, a rich chicken stew stocked with roasted onions, tomatillos, and tomatoes. There are tons of options for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert.
Donate to an organization
If you’re able to do so, donating to Hispanic and Latinx organizations is an impactful way to honor Hispanic Heritage Month. The Latino Victory Fund is working towards increasing Latino representation in government (don’t forget — the midterm elections take place on November 8!). The Hispanic Heritage Foundation is a nonprofit dedicated to uplifting Latinx voices in schools, communities, and workplaces nationwide, and the National Hispanic Institute provides leadership opportunities for high school and college students.
Support Latinx-owned businesses
Hispanic Heritage Month falls between September 15 and October 15, but Hispanic and Latinx-owned brands and businesses should be supported all year long. Shop at local boutiques, dine at or order takeout from local eateries, or buy from beauty brands and fashion lines founded by Latinx entrepreneurs.
Play a game of Lotería
Gather your besties and fam for a fun game night. Lotería is a traditional game of chance, and is often referred to as “Mexican bingo.” It involves a four-by-four board and an illustrated deck of cards. Shop a GenZ version of the game here.
Play music by Hispanic and Latinx artists
Where would music be without the immense talents and groundbreaking contributions of Camila Cabello, Selena Quintanilla, Jennifer Lopez, Bad Bunny, Marc Anthony, Cardi B… the list goes on! Make a playlist of Hispanic and Latinx artists and bop to it all Hispanic Heritage Month, and year, long.
Watch a Latinx film or documentary
Just like books, movies and documentaries starring and by Hispanic and Latinx actors, directors, and creators are meaningful and poignant portrayals of the culture. To help get your queue started, check out our list of the 15 best Hispanic movies, including Encanto, In the Heights, The Cheetah Girls 2, and Selena.
Find events near you
Many cities and towns organize events to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. Try Googling “Hispanic Heritage Month events near me,” and the search engine will scroll film festivals, guided tours, parades, galleries, pop-up markets, and more in your area. For example, New York City has a list of events on its official website, as does Philadelphia.
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