Department of Defense Education Activity

National Hispanic Heritage Month, September 15 - October 15

Hispanic Heritage Month Banner

 

Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.

This year’s theme is: “Esperanza: A Celebration of Hispanic Heritage and Hope.”

The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988, on the approval of Public Law 100-402.

The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September18, respectively. Also, Columbus Day or Día de la Raza, which is October 12, falls within this 30-day period

Hispanic Americans have been integral to the prosperity of the U.S. Their contributions to the nation are immeasurable, and they embody the best of American values. The Hispanic-American community has left an indelible mark on the U.S. culture and economy.

See links resources designed to showcase Hispanic Americans' commitment to service, while celebrating their culture and heritage.

Hispanic Facts

  • At nearly 23 million, people of Hispanic or Latino ethnicity represented fifteen percent of the U.S. labor force in 2011. U.S. labor force projections show that by 2018 Hispanics and/or Latinos will comprise eighteen percent of the labor force.
     
  • In 1970, President Nixon issued a comprehensive Sixteen-Point Federal Employment Plan aimed at increasing Hispanic representation in the Federal workforce.
     
  • In 1973, the 16-point plan was renamed “Spanish-Speaking Program” to emphasize bilingual skills; and in 1978, the program was again renamed to what it is known as today, the “Hispanic Employment Program” (HEP).
     
  • In 2000, President Clinton issued Executive Order 13171, which requires Executive Departments and Agencies to establish and maintain a program for the recruitment and career development of Hispanics in federal employment.
     
  • In 2010, President Obama issued Executive Order 13555, an order that called for expanding educational opportunities and improving educational outcomes for Hispanics and Latinos of all ages, and to help ensure that all Hispanics receive an education that properly prepares them for college and productive careers.
     
  • In 2011, President Obama issued Executive Order 13583, which contain comprehensive strategies for the identification and removal of barriers to equal employment opportunity that might exist in recruitment, hiring, promotion, retention, professional development and training, policies, and practices.

Activities

There are many types of Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations planned around the U.S.A. Many museums exhibit the work of Hispanic artists. Community groups screen films about the Latino community, and music venues host concerts with Latino performers. In addition, cuisine, crafts and other goods with Latin American origins are displayed during festivals that coincide with Hispanic Heritage Month.

Please share in this special annual tribute by learning and celebrating the generations of Hispanic Americans who have positively influenced and enriched our nation and society.

Resources

DoDEA's Hispanic Program

DoDEA's Hispanic Program

The Department of Defense Education Activity (DODEA) has used Executive Order 13171 as a blueprint to construct and build upon activities that focus on Hispanic outreach and recruitment.
Hispanic Heritage Month Slideshare

Hispanic Heritage Month Slideshare

The impact that Hispanic Americans have had on domestic and international affairs in the United States is substantial and promises to be even more significant in the future.
Library of Congress – Hispanic Reading Room

Library of Congress – Hispanic Reading Room

The Hispanic Reading Room is the primary access point for research related to the Caribbean, Latin America, Spain and Portugal; the indigenous cultures of those areas; and peoples throughout the world historically influenced by Luso-Hispanic heritage, including Latinos in the U.S. and peoples of Portuguese or Spanish heritage in Africa, Asia, and Oceania.
Parents - Crafts for National Hispanic Heritage Month

Parents - Crafts for National Hispanic Heritage Month

Taíno petroglyphs, found in caves and near rivers in Puerto Rico, Cuba, and throughout the Caribbean, are some of the oldest in the world. Kids can create their own “rock art” as they learn about the indigenous culture.
Public Broadcasting Service (PBS)

Public Broadcasting Service (PBS)

Premiering in 2013, The Latino Americans was the first major documentary series for television to chronicle the rich and varied history and experiences of Latinos, who have helped shape North America over the last 500-plus years and have become, with more than 50 million people, the largest minority group in the U.S.