September 15th - October 15th is National Hispanic Heritage Month!

It’s time to celebrate the important milestones, cultural achievements, influence and history of the Hispanic and Latinx communities. It's also time to draw awareness, and strengthen efforts to correct the ongoing prejudices, violence and social inequities that these groups endure.


Be proactive! Keep scrolling to learn about the history of Hispanic Heritage Month, read about historical and current injustices, find new ways to pay tribute to the Hispanic community, and explore other activities to expand your understanding toward equality and social inclusion.

A brief history of the Observance of National Hispanic Heritage Month

National Hispanic Heritage Month, celebrated annually from September 15th - October 15th, honors the cultures and contributions of both Hispanic and Latinx American heritage rooted in all Latin American countries.  tell us, Hispanic Heritage Month was originally observed as “Hispanic Heritage Week” under President Lyndon Johnson in 1963, but it was later extended to a month-long celebration during President Ronald Reagan's term in 1988. 


The day of September 15th is significant because it is the Independence Day for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Also, Mexico and Chile celebrate their Independence Days on September 16th and September 18th, respectively.

Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated with events including parades, art exhibits, workshops, symposiums and concerts, and by honoring important Latino figures. The purpose of Hispanic Heritage Month is to affirm all that the hispanic and latino communities have contributed to our country, and to embrace the pride of their cultural heritage and traditions. It is also to to further pressurize and raise awareness of the ongoing battle against systemic discrimination and inequity.

Hispanic & Latinx Terms

The terms Hispanic & Latino/a describe groups of people from distinct cultures and nationalities. Recently, the word Latinx has gained traction as a gender-neutral alternative to Latino/a. The terms Hispanic and Latinx are often used interchangeably but actually have different meanings and are often the subject of debate. According to, the definitions of the terms are generally accepted as Hispanic referring to a person or a descendant of someone who is from a Spanish-speaking country, and Latino/a or Latinx referring to a person or a descendant of someone who is from, the geographic region of Latin America including much of Central and South America, and the Caribbean. For example, Portuguese speaking people from Brazil may identify as Latinx, but not Hispanic. However, as the diagram below shows, there is a significant overlap between the two groups

Hispanic & latinX - Culture & Heritage

Hispanic and Latinx American culture can be very different depending on an individual's ancestry and birthplace. However, the article "Latino/a and Hispanic Culture in the U.S."by InterExchange, tells us that these groups do share some cultural similarities including language, religion, cuisine, family values, and media & entertainment. Pew Research Center reported that in 2019 approximately 18% (60.6 million) of the total U.S. population were Hispanic and Latinx people. Those people bring long-standing traditions and so their numerous cultural contributions have and will continue to influence the United States' diverse culture in countless ways.

Hispanic Countries: 

Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Spain, Uruguay, and Venezuela.


Latin American Countries:

Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guadaloupe, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Saint Barthélemy, Saint Martin, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

Scroll through our slideshow to learn more about the distinct cultures of Hispanic and Lantinx Americans from select geographical regions.


U.S. Population: 451,000 as of 2017

Native Language: Portuguese

Brazil's Independence Day: Sept. 7, 2021

Featured Dish : Moqueca 

Featured Holiday: Tiradentes Day, April 21st.

Click the button below for more detailed information about Brazilian Americans including their history, modern era government, significant immigration waves, settlement patterns, acculturations, traditions, cuisine, and more.

Myths and Stereotypes
Five myths about Hispanics

This article by Horacio Sierra covers 5 myths about Hispanic people and how those myths were born. "Envious of Spain’s conquests in the Americas, British propagandists circulated 'La Leyenda Negra,' the black legend, a series of writings that denigrated Spaniards and the Spanish Empire as cruel, haughty and intolerant, starting in the 1500s. Anglophones have propagated myths about Hispanic cultures ever since. Though Hispanics make up 18.3 percent of the U.S. population — the country’s largest minority group — many Americans continue to remix and reuse centuries-old stereotypes about them. Hispanic Heritage Month is a good occasion to shoot down five of the most common mitos."

Read the full article ⤴

4 Latino stereotypes in TV and film that need to go

Tre’vell Anderson's  article discusses Latino "representations in Hollywood, often rooted in stereotypes. Most female characters are either cleaning ladies or spicy Latinas. The men are often drug-pushing cholos or dance-floor kings." Learn about  "four cliché-riddled roles seen in film and television over the years that it’s time to bust."

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Class System - Color in Colonial Spanish America

Colonial Spanish society became a society of groupings based on color.

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Class System - Caste And Class Structure In Colonial Spanish America

During most of the colonial era, Spanish American society had a pyramidal structure with a small number of Spaniards at the top, a group of mixed race people beneath them, and at the bottom a large indigenous population and small number of slaves, usually of African origin.

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Workforce Discriminations-Hiring Bias Blacks And Latinos Face Hasn't Improved In 25 Years

"If you are Black or Latino, you have to work harder just to get an interview, even if you are as well-qualified as White candidates."

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Workforce Discriminations-A Latino Professionals’ Views on Employment Discrimination Towards the Latino Immigrant Community

• This is a Master of Social Work Clinical Research Paper (they mentioned it is not a Master's thesis).

• The purpose of this research study was to identify the causes and negative effects of employment discrimination towards Latino immigrants.

Anali Crispin Ballesteros' 2015 Clinical Research Paper "Latino Professionals’ Views on Employment Discrimination Towards the Latino Immigrant Community" Retrieved from Sophia, the St. Catherine University repository website:

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Workforce Discriminations-Closing Latino Labor Market Gap Requires Targeted Policies To End Discrimination


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Workforce Discriminations-Latinos in the United States and in Spain: the impact of ethnic group stereotypes on labour market outcomes


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Latinos Face Disproportionate Health and Economic Impacts From COVID-19


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Colorism - Hair, Skin, Class
Why Understanding Colorism Within the Latino Community Is So important

Giselle Castro discusses the importance of understanding colorism and her tells of first-hand experience with it growing up in a Peruvian and Colombian household. 

'...Colorism is the preferential treatment of those who are lighter skinned than those who are darker within a group of people. City College Professor of Latin American and Latino studies, Iris Lopez explains, “Latinos are very color conscious and use a color classification system which includes categories such as blanco, negro, trigueno, Indio, ...” she says.'

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Mestizo, Negro, Blanco—What Does it Mean? Racism and Colorism’s Effects in the Latinx Community

"Abstract: This study explores how Latinxs understand their racial identity and how colorism emerges, develops and evolves in the lives of Latinxs. We want to look into how racial identity affects race and color perceptions and relationships in the community. Data in this study came from 10 individuals who participated through in-person interviews or submitted a paper survey between March 2018 and March 2019. The patterns that emerged in this research demonstrate a challenge and confusion to Latinx racial identity. Familial influence is a way that colorism and racial identity is formed and understood. Colonial history of Latinxs is also discussed as a mechanism that continues to uphold colorism in the Latinx community. The limitations of the study were also discussed."

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Exploring Colorism in the Latinx Community

"Ashley Garcia ’22 reflects on the lack of conversation surrounding issues of colorism within the Latinx community. A member of the Latinx community herself, she began thinking about her own experiences when she returned to her hometown of Miami after beginning her studies at Hamilton..."

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Additional Resources

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Abstract or summary paragraph here.

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Additional Resources

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A brief history of the Observance of AAPIHM

According to the United States Census Bureau, a joint congressional resolution was established in In 1978 that declared first 10 days of May as Asian American & Pacific Islander American Heritage Week. These dates coincide with two important events in AAPI history: the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants (May 7, 1843)  and contributions and sacrifices of Chinese workers who built the transcontinental railroad, completed May 10, 1869. In 1992, Congress permanently expanded the observance from one week to an entire month long celebration that is now known as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

Manjiro: the first Japanese immigrant to arrive in the United states

In 1841 a 14-year-old fisherman and his crew were caught in a violent storm which left them stranded on a deserted island more than 300 miles away from their coastal Japanese village of Naka-no-hama. Six months later the fishermen were rescued by an American whaling ship. Unable to return home due to Japan’s exclusion law, Manjiro began a journey to America arriving in the country on May 7, 1843. So began a captivating saga about a life full of exceptional achievements including returning to Japan, where he was named a samurai and became an important political emissary between Japan and the West. 


Click the button below to read the full story of Manjiro Nakahama.

Chinese Workers & America's first 
Transcontinental Railroad

Between 1865 and 1869, thousands of Chinese migrants played an instrumental role in the construction of America’s first Transcontinental Railroad. The workforce for the largest engineering project of the time, crucial for development of the American West, was composed of as much as 90 percent Chinese workers for much of the construction. Stanford University recounts their story in the context of engrossing topographic contour maps.


Click the button below for Stanford University's virtual reconstruction of the key historic sites of the railroad.

Be Proactive! 

6 Ways to Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

According to the USDA's website, this year’s theme is- 

Hispanics: Be Proud of Your Past, Embrace the Future. 

1) Explore Hispanic and Latinx Culture in the U.S.

We suggest starting with, "The most important contributions of Latinos to the United States" by The Latin Way.

2) Attend an Event

TO BE FILLED IN AT A LATER TIME. TOO EARLY FOR EVENT LISTINGS or i could not find any because of Covid. Syracuse has canceled their hispanic heritage month festival. http://festivallatinoamericanosyracuse.comhas compiled a list of Pride festival parades, gay events and parties in Syracuse  happening throughout June. From virtual trivia quizzes to webinars to live broadcast of  Pride parades, there's something for everyone.

3) Patronize an Hispanic or Latinx + Owned Business

Support a Hispanic owned business near you! Put your money directly back into the community. Yelp offers a convenient list of the best rated Hispanic Restaurants in the Syracuse area.

4) Support or learn about a Hispanic or Latinx artist!

We suggest checking out the work of Mural Artist Eduardo Kobra, whose art is featured on our Brazil culture slide above.  In 2016 Eduardo Kobra made the headlines with his mural ‘Las Etnias’  (The Ethnicities) that lined Olympic Boulevard at the 2016 Rio Olympics. The 32,000 square feet, mural beat the record for the largest spray paint mural in that year.

5) Participate in a Equity Challenge

Take the Central New York Business Equity Pledge right now!

6) Spread Awareness


Use social media to call attention to the achievements, influence and history of the LGBTQ+ community in the United States. Encourage people to stand together against anti-LGBTQ+ hate. Use the suggestions below for ways to make a bigger impact with your posts.


Spread awareness to the masses with hashtags. Don't limit the reach of your social media posts to just your followers, add a hashtag to your content so your message is accessible to all. Here are a few we suggest for LGBTQ+:

#hispanicheritage #hispanicheritagemonth #latinosbelike #hispanicsbelike #latinos #orgullolatino #somoslatinos #latinopride #empoweringlatinos #hispanic #latinosstandup #latinx 


Please feel free to download and share the following graphics. Don't forget your hashtags!

Click on an image for a full-size view. Hover on or click on image to display share and download options.

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