Every year, September 15-October 15 marks Hispanic Heritage Month. It’s an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the histories, cultures, and contributions of Americans who trace their roots back to Spain, Mexico, Central America, South America, and the Spanish-speaking nations of the Caribbean.
The celebratory month begins halfway through September to honor the independence days of several Latin countries:
- September 15: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua
- September 16: Mexico
- September 18: Chile
- September 21: Belize
In 1968, Hispanic Heritage Week launched under President Lyndon Johnson. Twenty years later, under President Ronald Reagan, the observation expanded into a month-long celebration.
Below, we share statistics on the contributions to the United States and Arizona that Hispanics have made, and ways you can celebrate the month in 2020.
Hispanic Contributions to the U.S. and Arizona
According to Pew Research, in 104 U.S. counties, Hispanics made up at least 50% of the population in 2019. Maricopa County was among the top 11 counties with more than one million residents of Hispanic heritage in 2019. The Hispanic population is the second-largest in the United States (23rd Annual DATOS: The State of Arizona’s Hispanic Market, 2019).
The U.S. Census Bureau reports that people of Hispanic heritage make up 31.7% of Arizona’s population.
As noted in the 2019 edition of DATOS’s “The State of Arizona Hispanic Market,” Latinos continue to drive small business growth. The report states, “Between 2014 and 2016, the number of Latino-owned employer firms increased by 13.1 percent, accounting for 23.8 percent of the net growth of all employer firms during that period.”
The report also indicates that the number of Hispanic-owned businesses is growing at more than twice the rate of non-Hispanic businesses. And, Hispanic buying power in Arizona is expected to surpass $57 billion by 2022. This population is a significant one in the United States, demonstrating hard work and community orientation, and making meaningful contributions.
How to Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month in 2020
Usually we would be participating in live events to commemorate Hispanic Heritage Month, but with the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing, things look a little different this year. To help you celebrate, we compiled a list of five creative ways to honor Hispanic Heritage Month in 2020.
If you are homeschooling your kids, are a teacher by trade, or just want to learn on your own, Scholastic’s “Celebrate Hispanic Heritage” digital Teacher’s Activity Guide is a good place to start.
The digital exhibition, Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art, gives online visitors an opportunity to explore 92 pieces of art from 72 leading modern and contemporary artists. The exhibit “presents the rich and varied contributions of Latino artists in the United States since the mid-twentieth century.”
Speaking of the arts, did you know that Lin-Manuel Miranda, a Puerto Rican, wrote the soundtrack for the award-winning musical, Hamilton, and played the lead role? Create a list or bingo card to see what other fun facts you can find about Hispanic Americans and their contributions throughout our culture. Consider searching for a fun fact for categories like politics, philanthropy, arts, restaurants, at-home recipes, local business, and education, for starters!
The Phoenix Public Library’s Hispanic Heritage Month page includes links to Latin music, films, and books that you can check out with your library card – some of them available entirely digitally.
5. Tell Someone
Discuss what you learned with at least one other person. Share a fun fact on social media, call your best friend, invite your family to participate in your scavenger hunt, or host a viewing party when you explore the resources above.
We wish you a meaningful Hispanic Heritage Month, however you choose to celebrate!
Vantage West blogs are informational only. Vantage West does not endorse any third parties linked above. For your convenience, Vantage West Credit Union provides links on our website to third party sites. Vantage West Credit Union does not provide, and is not responsible for the product, service, or overall website content available at a third party site. Vantage West Credit Union is not liable for any failure of products, services, or information advertised on the third party website. Please be advised that you will no longer be subject to, or under the protection of the privacy and security policies of our website.