National Hispanic Heritage Month

September 15- October 15

Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. The observation 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 September18, respectively. Also, Día de la Raza, which is October 12, falls within this 30 day period. There are many resources and lessons for teachers to use at a variety of sites including PBS Learning Media, Smithsonian Education, EDSITEment, and the National Education Association. We've linked to a few lessons below:

Latino Americans

500 Years of History

The PBS series Latino Americans premiered in September 2013. It chronicles the rich and varied history and experiences of Latinos, who have helped shape North America over the last 500-plus years. You can view an introduction to the series below and view full episodes and resources HERE.

Puerto Rican Heritage

Poster Series

The Hunter College Centro de Estudios Puertorriqueños has produced a poster series documents the history of Puerto Rican migration and the experiences and contributions of Puerto Ricans to United States Society. Links to the posters are below; an accompanying study guide and timeline were also produced.

Additional Resources:

  • Los Sures: Living Los Sures is a site produced over 5 years by 60 artists at UnionDocs Center for Documentary Art, LIVING LOS SURES is an expansive project about the Southside of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Known by its long-term Latino residents as Los Sures, the neighborhood was one of the poorest in New York City in the late 70s and early 80s. [...] With the restoration of LOS SURES, a brilliant work of cinéma vérité filmmaking as a starting point, the project has developed into a collection of 40 SHORT FILMS, the interactive documentary 89 STEPS, and the cinematic people’s history SHOT BY SHOT, demonstrating new possibilities for collaboration between an arts institution and its surrounding community to collect memories and share local culture.
  • Listening to Puerto Rico Teach Out: Understanding begins with listening. But “listening” is not just about hearing people’s words: it also implies taking notice of, and acting on, what people say. Shaped by the individual experience of everyday life, the Listening to Puerto Rico Teach-Out invites you to hear many voices from a distressed but resilient island and discover how you can contribute to the island’s recovery.
  • Puerto Rico Encyclopedia: The Puerto Rico Online Encyclopedia is an educational project that is unique among the Puerto Rican Endowment for the Humanities’ programs and services. Its purpose is to support and spread knowledge of our history and identity as a people, as well as our collective memory. It is a free, online publication with information in Spanish and English that familiarizes both Puerto Ricans and other users from around the world with aspects of the society, history and culture of Puerto Rico, as well as the Caribbean region.
  • Latinos in Math & Science: A guide which includes a selection of resources for children K-12 on Latinos in science, mathematics, engineering, medicine, and related fields. It also includes resources for teachers on multicultural science education and science for English Language Learners (ELLs). Most of the sources are in English, with selected children's books and websites in Spanish.