Celebrating National Hispanic American Heritage Month 2021

The EPS Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee shares resources for celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month.

September 15 to October 15 is National Hispanic American Heritage Month. The celebration starts mid-month because Sept. 15 marks the independence anniversary of five countries: Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. It is followed by Mexico's Independence Day on Sept. 16 and Chile's on Sept. 18. The first Hispanic Heritage Month was celebrated in 1989, following Congressional action during Ronald Reagan's presidency in 1988. This year's theme is "Esperanza: A Celebration of Hispanic Heritage and Hope."

Organizations, such as the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS), GeoLatinas, and the American Geophysical Union (AGU), are actively involved in efforts promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in the sciences generally and geosciences specifically. We join these groups in sharing stories of Chicanos/Hispanics in STEM, making room for diverse voices in our field, and reflecting on Hispanic Heritage month.

Closer to home, St. Louis and the surrounding region have a rich multicultural history, including a brief period of Spanish rule amidst the better known French influences. Today, south St. Louis bustles with Hispanic-American culture, particularly along Cherokee Street west of Jefferson Avenue. Cherokee Street has become a trendy arts district filled with a mix of history and new sights, including a number of authentic Mexican restaurants and grocers. Cherokee Street also hosts the largest Cinco de Mayo celebration in the region.

Farther afield, the Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution, and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the generations of Hispanic Americans who have positively influenced and enriched our nation and society. Learn more about how these government organizations are celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, including special events, archives, and other resources.