Join us as we delve into the captivating tapestry of Hispanic and Latin American communities, and discover why their contributions make the world a more exciting and interconnected place. Get ready for a delightful exploration that celebrates the heart and soul of these remarkable people.
Counting the Music-Loving Millions
Were you aware that the United States is home to 62.6 million individuals of Latin descent? As of July 1, 2021, the Hispanic community held the distinction of being the largest racial or ethnic minority, constituting 18.9% of the total population. In 2022, the Hispanic demographic in the United States expanded to encompass 63 million people, further cementing its position as one of the nation’s most rapidly growing segments. This demographic is not only prevalent in states like New Jersey, Colorado, Florida, Arizona, Texas, Illinois, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Washington, North Carolina, California, New Mexico, and New York but is also widely distributed across the nation. This significant presence and its influence on voting, art, gastronomy, and much more are the reasons why we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15—to honor the vibrant tapestry of Hispanic and Latino American culture.
The celebration was created initially by President Johnson as a single-week event but was stated as a monthly celebration by Ronald Regan president in the 80s. This Month provides a platform for discussing important aspects of Hispanic culture preservation, social justice issues affecting the community, and immigration. It doesn’t only focus on past achievements but on the future, this celebration is used to meditate on the coming generation and their powerful multiculturalism as a great strength.
In order to promote this celebration, we may start by celebrating our Latin and Hispanics who have made contributions to American history.
For example, Sonia Sotomayor who was the first Latin Supreme Court justice, who advocated for equality and minority rights, Ellen Ochoa the first Latina astronaut to go to space, who also contributed to STEM education, and an endless list of excellent performers from Latin America.
Every year, Hispanic Heritage Month has a different topic, in 2022, the theme was: Inclusivity for a Stronger Nation. In 2023 the topic was Driving Prosperity, Power, and Progress in America. In this aspect many Latin American people have made an impact during the last decades, causing more financial progress after promoting entrepreneurship, working in different spheres of society, and impacting the general American financial progress.
When it comes to the world of Hispanic and Latino heritage, one thing is abundantly clear: diversity reigns supreme. Spanish may be the dominant language in this vibrant community, but it’s just the tip of the linguistic iceberg. Travel through the enchanting lands of Latin America, and you’ll discover a treasure trove of dialects and indigenous languages that paint a vivid linguistic mosaic. Yet, here’s the twist: not every Hispanic individual speaks Spanish fluently. In fact, you might be surprised to learn that a significant portion of the population in the United States is bilingual, switching between English and Spanish or other native languages. It’s a linguistic dance that adds even more flavor to the mix.
Speaking of flavor, let’s discuss about the cultural mix where this linguistic diversity meets other art forms. For example, exceptional painters like Frida Kahlo, and Pablo Picasso. Their works, like pages from the novels of Gabriel García Márquez, have left an indelible mark on the world of art and literature, transporting us to the magic of Hispanic and Latin heritage.
Now, let’s turn up the volume to music. Hispanic and Latin music extents a variety as wide as the Amazon jungle, from the strong beats of salsa, tango, cumbia to the energy of reggaeton. Many icons like Carlos Santana, Shakira, and Celia Cruz have catapulted this music onto the global stage, earning millions of enthusiastic fans worldwide.
And what’s a cultural journey without culinary delights? Prepare your taste for an adventure through a mouthwatering confusion of dishes. Tacos, empanadas, paella, sancocho, arepas – the list goes on, and each region brings its own culinary masterpiece to the table. Hispanic cuisine is a piece of true evidence of the creativity in food. But the fun doesn’t stop there. Hispanics have taken the world of sports by storm, whether it’s soccer, baseball, or boxing. Legendary athletes like Pelé, Lionel Messi, and Roberto Clemente are household names, celebrated for their expertise on the field.
Now, let’s change the subject to discuss traditions. Hispanic and Latino culture knows how to throw a party. Festivals like Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), Carnival, and Las Posadas are colorful musicals filled with parades, vibrant costumes, and food that’ll make you dance in the streets. Speaking of dance, Latin rhythms have a way of making everyone move around it comes to Salsa, tango, flamenco, and samba have breezed into the hearts of people worldwide, known for their passionate and energetic moves that capture the essence of life.
It’s #HispanicHeritageMonth! And we are supporting each other in the Latino way!
Did you know…? ? pic.twitter.com/6ZdxcKQqJt
— ROSAesROJO (@rosaesrojo) October 2, 2023
So, there you have it—a glimpse into the captivating world of Hispanic and Latin heritage, where diversity, art, music, and flavor interweave to create an unforgettable cultural tapestry spanning multiple countries. Perhaps the most noteworthy aspect of Latin influence is the emphasis on friendliness as a primary characteristic, with people who demonstrate extraordinary care for their family and friends.
Promoting Latin heritage is a way to celebrate diversity and foster unity. To get involved, consider supporting local Latin cultural festivals, attending art exhibitions, or learning about Latin cuisine through cooking classes or just promoting intercultural communication, and choosing a special day at your workplace to celebrate heritage. Small steps can make a big impact in preserving and promoting Latin heritage, and they create opportunities for cultural exchange and understanding. Join in and be part of the vibrant tapestry of Latin culture that enriches our communities.
Check out these links:
Review the explanation:
Watch, sing and dance:
Play these Interactive Spanish funny games:
Take action: Follow some hashtags on social media that promote culture and heritage respect, such as #ywcaonamission. #HispanicHeritageMonth #LatinoPride #CelebrateCulture #LatinoHeritage
Check out these countries to visit in Latin America: https://www.spanish.academy/blog/study-abroad-in-latin-america/
By Andrea Clavijo