Hispanic Heritage Month, recognized from September 15 to October 15, celebrates the cultures and contributions of Americans descended from Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Spain. This tradition started under President Lyndon Johnson and expanded during President Ronald Reagan's administration to the 30-day period we celebrate today.
We celebrate this time of year because it marks the independence of several Latin American countries. Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua celebrate their independence days on September 15, the first day of Hispanic Heritage Month. Belize, Chile, and Mexico also celebrate their independence days in September.
In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, Alcance President Carmen Preuss shares her thoughts on celebrating the Latino community's diversity and shared connections and the value of integrating Latino families' cultural and linguistic assets into school communities. Carmen also shares a list of local events and establishments honoring the month.
As of September 15, AUSD is celebrating our Latino Heritage Month with students, families, and staff across the District.
The Latino community is diverse and rooted in family and cultural ties. For this reason, it is vital that we work towards learning and recognizing the contributions that our families make to cultural diversity in our classrooms and schools. As we celebrate Latino Heritage Month, we want to uplift our histories, people, and cultures from all countries in our continent. Embracing and highlighting our connections, similarities, differences and upraising our Indigenous and Afro-Latino identity and culture.
Integrating Latino students and their family’s cultural and linguistic assets into student learning and campus life is an invaluable resource for teachers and staff. Inviting parents to talk about their culture and language in the classroom, having morning messages for students in a different language, organizing music, poetry, art, or dancing classes are just a few of the activities that can be done at schools to open the gate of cultural appreciation and diversity.
Here are some Latino Heritage Events taking place in our community for families to enjoy:
- Sept. 23: Nuestros Colores: Art & Culture Festival of the Americas
- Sept. 29: Friday Night Celebration at Oakland Museum
- Oct. 29, Fruitvale District: Dia de Los Muertos Festival
- 510 Families List of Community Events
- Latino Heritage at Fairyland
- Visit Murals in SF Mission
- Ballet Folklorico de Carlos Moreno- Dia de Muertos Performance (based in Oakland)
- Ballet Folklorico Mexico - Dia de Muertos (based in Hayward)
- La Peña Cultural Center