Celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month!

Collage image of book covers for Hispanic Heritage Month (hi-res images)

Celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month!

National Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated from September 15 to October 15 and honors the histories, traditions, diverse cultures, and contributions of Hispanic and Latinx Americans. September 15 is an important date in the history of many Latin American countries (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua) as it’s when they declared their independence from Spain in 1821.

Did you know that the Hispanic population in the United States is more than 60 million people? This vibrant community includes 21 Spanish-speaking countries and territories and is the largest ethnic group in the United States. Two great resources to learn more about this month include the Library of Congress’ National Hispanic Heritage Month website and the National Park Service’s Hispanic Heritage Month page.

Join us in celebrating the Hispanic and Latinx community! We’re spotlighting essays from Capstone authors Alicia Salazar and Alex Sanchez about growing up Mexican American and straddling two cultures. We're also highlighting a few activities and book recommendations for students. Plus, as a bonus we have Camila the Star bookmarks to print and share with readers!

What Camila Means to Me as A Bicultural POC

Headshot photo of author Alicia Salazar

By Alicia Salazar, author of the Camila the Star series

"Bicultural…I’m not sure when I learned the word, but I remember the exact moment when I learned the idea. I was about 9 years old. I was invited to my neighbor’s house for dinner. They were white, monocultural (as far as I know) Americans. They had customs I had never been exposed to like cloth napkins and table settings, but those weren’t the moment. The moment came when the main dish was served: fried chicken. Up until then, my culinary experience had been limited to mole, caldo, tortillas, rice, and beans. Even my few excursions to restaurants had been limited to Mexican restaurants. Fried chicken was otherworldly."

Hispanic Heritage: An Idea Worth Celebrating

Headshot photo of author Alex Sanchez

By Alex Sanchez, author of The Greatest Superpower

"Most people know of the Jim Crow racism that African-Americans endured until barely 50 years ago, but many Americans have never learned that up until the 1960s, in much of Texas, California, and the southwest, all people of color suffered similar discrimination, including Mexican-Americans. In 1962, when my family immigrated from Mexico to Texas, people like me were commonly segregated in restaurants, stores, hotels, and swimming pools. Despite the landmark Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education, schools had only started to integrate."

Educator Resources & Downloadables

Image of four Camila the Star bookmarks
Camila the Star
Bookmarks 
Image of recipe for Hojarascas from the book Camila the Baking Star by Alicia Salazar
Hojarascas
Recipe
 
Image of Dia de los Muertos word search activity downloadable
Día de los Muertos 
Word Search 

 

Books to Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

To celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, we've curated a list of books featuring beloved Latinx characters, as well as special holidays and biographies of notable civil rights leaders, politicians, astronauts, and more. 

Collage image of book covers for Hispanic Heritage Month