Hispanic & Latino Heritage Month celebrates the histories, cultures, and contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans past and present. While it’s a month-long celebration, it notably crosses over two calendar months – running September 15 to October 15 – coinciding with the Independence Day celebrations of Belize, Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and Nicaragua. September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Mexico and Chile also celebrate their independence on September 16 and 18.
Hispanic Heritage Month began in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover 30 days. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988.
There are nearly 2.5 million Hispanics in New York City. This month of cultural recognition is a time for Americans who identify as Latino or Hispanic to celebrate and share their traditions. But even if your family doesn’t hail from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central or South America, you can still participate in the month by engaging in learning and cultural experiences that bring you a little closer to these countries and their diverse communities.
During National Hispanic Heritage Month, the Chamber Coalition celebrates and recognizes the incredible achievements, history, and culture of Hispanic Americans who have shaped New York City and our nation. We salute and honor them!