Noteworthy News

Home » About » Noteworthy News » Latino Heritage Month: Todos Somos, Somos Uno

Latino Heritage Month: Todos Somos, Somos Uno

Latino Heritage Month

September marks the start of Latino Heritage Month, a time to recognize the contributions and achievements of the various groups within this broad umbrella term. From September 15 to October 15, we are all invited to celebrate the Latino community’s rich culture.

The theme of this year’s celebration month is: “Todos Somos, Somos Uno: We are All, We are One.” This theme, set by the National Council of Hispanic Employment Program Manager, encapsulates the essence of unity and diversity that defines Latino Heritage. In 2020, the Latino population reached more than 62 million in the United States (Pew Research Center 2021). Hispanic and Latino identities are often used interchangeably, but they have two different meanings.

“Hispanic,” derived from the Latin word for Spain Hispania and later España, is generally accepted as a term that “refers to people who speak Spanish and/or are descended from Spanish-speaking populations.” It is also a term used to represent culture and people of countries formerly controlled by the Spanish Empire. In the United States, “Hispanic” was adopted by President Nixon’s administration and has been used in the Census since 1980 (Diffen). “Latino/a” describes “people who are from or descended from people from Latin America,” according to the Hispanic Network. “Latino” was not included on the U.S. Census until 2000.

The heritage of Hispanic Americans is rooted in 20 countries and territories: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Spain, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

Today, we recognize the profound influence of the Latino Civil Rights Movement, an integral part of the broader struggle for equity and freedom. Spanning numerous groups and perspectives, the civil rights movement symbolized a collaborative effort towards a more just society. This timeline notably spotlights the Western United States, encompassing regions like Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California, which are home to a significant portion of the contemporary Latino population. The fight for equity and justice has been ongoing and championed by labor unions and education rights advocates for generations. The unwavering commitment of such visionary leaders as Ruben Salazar, Mario Obledo, and Antonia Hernández have propelled the cause of equity forward.

Resources to check out this month:

Museum of Latin American Art

The Library of Congress:

Listening & Viewing Resources

The Spanish Film Festival hosted by Palace.

Latino History & Culture in Parks by National Park Foundation

National Endowment for the Humanities Latino History month docuseries

Hispanic Heritage Month by PBS

Books for adults:

  1. Afterlife by Julia Alvarez – In this novel, a recently widowed writer of Dominican decent navigates grief, family, and the complexities of contemporary life while reflecting on her cultural heritage.
  2. Bless me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya- A coming-of-age novel centered on a young Mexican American boy and his relationship with his curandera grandmother.
  3. The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez – This novel follows the lives of different Latin American immigrants living in the same apartment complex in Delaware.
  4. The Affairs of the Falcons by Melissa Rivero – A novel that delves into the challenges of documentation status for a Peruvian family in New York City.
  5. Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel – These novel focuses on the themes of love, family, and food during the Mexican Revolution.

Books for children:

  1. The Rainbow Tulip by Pat Mora – This book celebrates the bond between two children from different cultural backgrounds.
  2. Pepe and the Parade by Tracey Kyle and Mirelle Ortega
  3. Paleteo Man by Lucky Diaz
  4. Cactus Soup by Eric A. Kimmel and Phil Huling
  5. Platanos Go with Everything by Lissette Norman and Sarah Palacios
  6. Los Angeles Public Library Reading list: 

Free ebook

Vroom turns shared moments into brain building moments.

Photo of three girls sitting with books