Hispanic Heritage Month is observed in the United States from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15. It celebrates the culture and history of the Caribbean, Central and South America, Mexico, and Spain. Sept. 15 is an important date as it the anniversary of independence of the Latin American countries El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Guatemala. In the following weeks, Mexico, Belize, and Chile also celebrate their independence days. Hispanic Heritage Month was enacted into law on Aug. 17, 1988, but its observation began in 1968.
Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month allows for educators to highlight diversity in the United States and overall world. Hispanic Heritage Month creates a space for the one-third of New Jersey’s students who are Hispanic to be seen, heard and celebrated.
In celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, educators can celebrate the Hispanic community’s rich culture, their contributions to society, and the diversity within the community. There are various ways in which educators may wish to observe the monthlong celebration. Educators may encourage students to read and discuss Hispanic literature, explore art within the Hispanic community, explore the varying cultures and numerous countries that are celebrated, and the countless contributions made by Hispanics.
NJEA hopes to support all educators and students in celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month as it strives to continue working towards learning, equity, and justice. NJEA’s membership consists of 8.5% members who self-identify as Hispanic, and it hopes to continue creating spaces where their heritage is celebrated.
For resources, visit nea.org and search “Hispanic Heritage Month.”