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National Hispanic Heritage Month: Sept. 15 – Oct. 15

The first formal recognition of Hispanic Heritage was made by Congress in 1968. Originally designated as the week of Sept. 15, the celebration was centered around the Independence Days of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, which are celebrated on Sept. 15, and Mexico, which is celebrated on Sept. 16.

In 1988, the celebration was extended to 31 days, beginning on Sept. 15 and ending on Oct. 15. It now includes Chile’s Independence Day (Sept. 18) and el Dia de la Raza, or the Hispanic celebration of Columbus Day (Oct. 12).

According to the U.S. Census, people of Hispanic descent can trace their ancestry to Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Spain and the Spanish-speaking countries of Central and South America. National Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates people of various different races, from more than 20 different nations around the world who share a related cultural and ethnic heritage.

Hispanic populations


This website pulls together a variety of resources to help teachers celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month in their classroom. The people, places and events highlighted here are meant to give readers a glimpse into a few of the many significant contributions Hispanics have made in building and strengthening the institutions where we live and work.

Classroom Resources

Colorín Colorado
This free professional development resource for educators of Latino English language learners provided by the AFT and the Reading Rockets project of PBS Station WETA offers ideas, tools, and downloadables for Hispanic Heritage month, in addition to numerous other instructional resources for all year long. 

National Geographic Map Machine
Use this resource to learn about Hispanic countries throughout the world including each country’s climate, population, maps, flag and brief history.|0&sf=187648892.534865

Events in Hispanic-American History
This comprehensive site, maintained by the Gale Group, highlights key events in Hispanic-American history beginning with Spanish exploration in 1492 through the present day.