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National Hispanic Heritage Month is an annual celebration from September 15 to October 15. It celebrates and honors the histories, cultures, and contributions of both Hispanic and Latino Americans whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. Learn more about the history and continuing culture thriving in our communities today.
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.
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 September 18, respectively. Also, Columbus Day or Día de la Raza, which is October 12, falls within this 30-day period.
Latino or Hispanic? What's the difference?
What Being Hispanic and Latinx Means in the United States.
Hispanic Heritage Month Audio Playlist
¿Qué onda, microonda? — ¿Qué onda? (how are you? or, literally, what wave?) ¿Qué onda, microonda? is a very cheesy version that literally means: “What wave, microwave?” It’s kind of like our “See you later, alligator.”
“¡Baja un cambio!” — If your Hispanic friend is panicking about anything you can say ¡baja un cambio! meaning “chill out!” or “relax!”
“Pitri mitri” — A delightfully rhyming way to say “awesome.”
“Parce” — Colombians use this word informally instead of amigo (friend).
“¡Pura vida!” — This ultra-Costa Rican exultation can mean: Cheers!, Hello!, Doing great!, etc. Employ it frequently, it’s part of the way of life as well.
“Chido” — A more Mexican version of the (already Latin American) lindo (beautiful). Chido can also just mean that something is “really cool.”
“Majo” — If a Spaniard says that you’re majo, they mean that you’re simpático (nice).