National Hispanic Heritage Month

Image Credit: Detail of Hispanic Heritage Select Photos, by David Valdez at Hispanic Heritage Month

What Is National Hispanic Heritage Month?

Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, celebrating the histories, cultures, and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.

The observance started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988, on the approval of Public Law 100-402.

The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September 18, respectively. Also, Columbus Day or Día de la Raza, which is October 12, falls within this 30-day period.

Watch a snippet of Arturo O’Farrill’s Zoom conversation with Child Center employees. Here he answers a question posed by Prevention and Family Support Program Director Yolanda Vega.

The Multicultural Committee of The Child Center’s Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging (EDIB) Council organized several activities and events for team members during this important observance, including a panel and virtual breakfast for employees to share stories about their culture and heritage, as well as a presentation and performance by Arturo O’Farrill, a renowned pianist, composer, and educator; and ¡Celebrando Culturas!, presented by Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana, one of America’s premier flamenco companies. The virtual event is a wonderful blend of entertainment and education, exploring the art of flamenco and its rich cultural history. These are just some of the many ways we celebrate and appreciate the vast array of cultures and heritages among our employees.

The Child Center prioritizes the hiring of people from the neighborhoods we serve and employ talented and passionate individuals from every background. We are proud of our diversity and hope you will explore one of our many job openings and consider being a part of the Child Center team!

Staff Spotlight:

Nelly Marte, Ph.D., LCSW-R

Program Director, Queens Family Support Catchment 4 Prevention Program

 My parents are immigrants from the Dominican Republic. My parents left their families to seek the “American Dream.” They worked very hard to achieve this dream and, in their journey, they instilled the importance of education, hard work, and, most of all, the importance of family unity. They made sure my brother and I kept in touch with our Dominican culture and roots. By visiting often throughout our childhood, we maintained a strong connection to our parents’ land. I have fond memories of our grandmother taking us to the beach during our visits. As a grown woman, I continue to visit our favorite beach, Boca Chica, located in Santo Domingo. I have traveled to many beaches in the world, but to me, Boca Chica remains the most beautiful beach. Although I am a proud native New Yorker, the scenery of the mountains and the fresh coconut water, fried fish, and the breeze from the palm trees remain close to my heart. 


Cultural Resources: Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with museums, performing arts, theater, dance, film, carnivals, a parade, and more!

Maiz Flor Serpiente/Flower Maze Serpent at Smithsonian Latino Center

Check out these cultural resources and opportunities to explore, learn, and celebrate Hispanic Heritage!

El Museo del Barrio

Repertorio Espanol Performing Arts Theater

Ballet Hispanico – Virtual Programs and Events Option Available!

Latino Short Film Festival

Queens Culture Carnival

New York City Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Society of America

Hispanic Heritage Month Highlight: Latin American Athletes at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics on Ethnic Technologies Blog

Latino Cultures in the US

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