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Honoring Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month is a time to honor people of Hispanic heritage who have influenced America and the world in a monumental way, and to learn about Hispanic history.


About Hispanic Heritage Month

This observance started as a week in September 1968. Representative Esteban E. Torres proposed the month-long observance in 1987 to “properly observe and coordinate events and activities to celebrate Hispanic culture and achievement.” President George Bush declared the 31-day period in 1989.


Today many people call this cultural moment Latinx Heritage Month to represent non-binary and gender non-conforming individuals and people of Latin American origin.


Understanding cultural terms

The terms Hispanic, Latino, and Latinx refer to a person’s culture or origin.

Latinas and Latinos refer to diverse U.S. communities with Latin American and Caribbean roots. These terms include people with a variety of cultural identities, including African, Asian, European, and Indigenous ancestry.


Some prefer country-based identities, such as Bolivian, Boricua, or Peruvian. The term Hispanic signals connection to Spain.


Spanish is a gendered language. Therefore, the term Latino follows this convention, while Latinx is a gender-neutral and non-binary term.


Immigration

Civil wars, oppressive governments, and natural disasters are some of the reasons people migrate from Latin America and the Caribbean to the United States. In some cases, U.S. foreign policy contributed to the violence that drove people to move.


In the 1900s, Mexican workers were essential in maintaining railroads, harvesting crops, and mining in the western United States. Those who immigrated impacted many areas of the economy, including fashion, entertainment, farming, and more.


Inventions from Hispanic heritage

The world wouldn’t be the same today without these key inventions from Latinos and those of Hispanic heritage.

  • Color TV by Guillermo Gonzalez Camarena of Mexico, an electrical engineer

  • Contraceptive pill by Luis Miramontes of Mexico, a 26-year-old doctoral student at the time

  • First artificial heart to be successfully implanted into a human, created by Domingo Santo Liotta, born in Argentina

  • Patent on “Position, Rotation, and Intensity Invariant Recognizing Method” while studying optical systems, the first Hispanic woman in space, Ellen Ochoa

Discover more Hispanic icons on our blog!


Ways to celebrate

Here are a few ways to celebrate and honor Hispanic heritage.


Follow Arete Living on social media to learn more during Hispanic Heritage Month. Search any of our locations on Facebook, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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