National Hispanic Heritage Month (Mes de la Herencia Hispana)
By Tech. Sgt. Annamaria A.O. Bridenbaker, 140th Medical Group
/ Published September 11, 2015
BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- National Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. President Lyndon Johnson first initiated the observance in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage week. President Ronald Regan then extended the week to 30 days in 1988.
Every year during this time, Americans celebrate Hispanic histories, cultures and contributions of ancestors from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. September 15 is the anniversary of independence for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, with Mexico and Chili following with their independence days on Sept. 16 and 18.
Hispanic culture is made up of traditions, language, idioms, religious beliefs and practices, legends, arts, music, literature, cuisine, history, social and family values. This is not to be confused with Spanish culture. Hispanic culture is referring to people with Latin American heritage, whereas Spanish culture encompasses traditions and heritage of Spain only.
In the United States, the Hispanic community is the largest minority and is continually growing, with Spanish being the second most-spoken language.
Hispanic culture has a specific importance about family and tradition. By celebrating Hispanic holidays such as Navidad (Christmas), La Semana Santa (Holy Week), Dia del Trabajo, Cinco de Mayo, Dia de las Madres and Hispanic Heritage Month, Hispanics are able to keep their traditions and family values alive.