National Hispanic Heritage Month is observed annually from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15. Since 1968, the month has offered Americans the opportunity to celebrate the unique histories, cultures, and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.
Join in the festivities with these 21 ways we’ve compiled for celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month.
- Explore a virtual exhibition of Hispanic artifacts on the National Museum of American History’s website.
- Support a Hispanic-owned business in your neighborhood.
- Watch the Hispanic Heritage Awards. You can view clips at The Hispanic Heritage Foundation’s website.
- Watch a YouTube documentary to learn more about the rich culture and history of the Hispanic people. Some great choices include Paper Children, a film about a Honduran family’s immigration to the U.S., and The Latino List, which features 16 well-known figures from the Latinx community in the U.S., each of whom discusses their family’s immigration story, the challenges they’ve faced on the road to success and more.
- Learn one new Spanish word each day of Hispanic Heritage Month. You can download a language-learning app like Duolingo or Babbel to help you reach your goal.
- Donate to, or volunteer for a Hispanic/Latinx-focused charity, like the NALEO Educational Fund, which helps facilitate Latino participation in the American political process, or the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, which provides scholarships and support services to qualifying Hispanic/Latinx students.
- Try some Salvadorian street food at home. Peel a green mango and cut it into small slices. Drizzle each slice with lime juice, then top with roasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas) and a pinch of salt.
- Learn about unique Hispanic festivals, such as Cinco de Mayo, Las Posadas, and the Day of the Dead.
- Have someone from your office who hails from a Hispanic/Latinx country talk to the staff about their family’s history and culture.
- Browse through images by photographer Manuel Carrillo to learn more about the face and identity of Mexican culture.
- Hispanic/Latinx culture has given us loads of awesome songs beyond Despacito. Learn a new Spanish song, like La Vida es un Carnaval, by Celia Cruz, or Camilla Cabello’s Havana, to get that Latinx rhythm going.
- Explore Latin music and painting online with Música del Pueblo: A Smithsonian Virtual Exhibition.
- Watch a Spanish-language film, like Abres Los Ojos/Open Your Eyes in which a rich man falls deeply in love but then suffers through a debilitating car crash that disfigures his face.
- Cool off with a piragua, a traditional Puerto Rican icy treat. In a small bowl, mix one cup of coconut juice with one cup of pineapple juice. Refrigerate the mixture until cold and then blend with ice. Serve in cone-shaped paper cups. Enjoy!
- Learn about baseball great and humanitarian Roberto Clemente, whose life was cut short by a tragic plane crash. You can watch Pride of the Pittsburgh Pirates on YouTube for a quick snapshot of his life.
- Make maracas with your kids. These percussion instruments, native to Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela, are simple to make – and so much fun! Decorate paper bags with paint, fill them with dried rice and fasten them shut with a rubber band. Now shake, shake, shake to make some music!
- Whip up a batch of arepas, flat corn cakes often eaten in Colombia and Venezuela.
- Learn to salsa! You can find dozens of free tutorials online, geared to both beginners and advanced dancers.
- Learn about famous Hispanic artists like Diego Rivera, Salvador Dalí, and Pablo Picasso.
- Study individuals of Hispanic/Latinx descent who have made significant contributions to American politics, like Sen. Octaviano Larrazolo, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, and Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.
- Paint a brightly colored piñata with your kids. You can find directions here. Fill up the piñata with sweet treats or small prizes and have fun trying to break it open!
Use our tips and your ideas to learn about and celebrate the history and culture of Hispanic/Latinx Americans this Hispanic Heritage Month.
Your Turn: How do you plan to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month? Share your ideas in the comments.