National Hispanic Heritage Month was created in the USA under President Lyndon Johnson as a way to recognize contributions of Latin-American and Hispanic peoples to our country’s heritage. In Washington D.C., it is celebrated by a series of presentations, exhibits and activities but a variety of free resources are available at the government site that are used widely across the country and throughout the year.
The starting date for this month (September 15th) is a bit unusual and many people wonder why it begins in the middle of a month. The dates of September 15th to October 15th were chosen because they reflects a time period when eight Latin American countries declared their independence. Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Niceragua declared their independence on September 15th. September 16th, 18th and the 21st mark the dates when Mexico, Chile, and Belize did so as well.
Participating in this month of education and celebration are the Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
For a complete listing of resources, events and activities, including a section on teaching Hispanic heritage, visit the official website at the link below. For a series of musical crafts and activities that originate in Hispanic culture as well as two musical instrument give-aways, visit DARIA’s world music for children site below.
Official Site – Hispanic Heritage Month
Hispanic Music, Musical Instruments and Crafts