Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated each year from September 15th to October 15th. It’s an opportunity to acknowledge and appreciate the many contributions made by the Hispanic community both locally, and across the nation. A community that comprises nearly 58.9 million people in the United States alone.
Why September 15th? It marks the independence of five Latin American nations in 1821: Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Costa Rica, and Guatemala. Other countries celebrating their independence in September include Chile, Mexico, and Belize.
This year is the 31-year anniversary of Hispanic Heritage Month in the United States—former President Ronald Regan signed the bill into law in 1988, establishing the month-long celebration. It’s during these 30 days that we’re meant to acknowledge the rich history, culture, and accomplishments of the Hispanic community.
Some of the many contributions made by the Hispanic community include:
• The founding of the city of Los Angeles in 1781;
• A 1947 court decision that made it illegal to segregate Mexican and white students in California, paving the way for the famous Brown v. Board of Education ruling that desegregated schools across the nation;
• The 4.4 million Hispanic-owned businesses in the United States that have contributed more than $700 billion to the economy in 2017 alone.
As we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, we’ve developed a list of great opportunities to support Hispanic-led and owned businesses and organizations that make up the backbone of our communities across Massachusetts and beyond.
Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción (IBA) is a Boston-based community development nonprofit that provides direct services to low-income families in need of quality housing and education. Celebrating over 50 years of existence, IBA has served more than 800 people, providing access to affordable housing, youth development and arts programs, and financial support services. Donate to help keep the organization going strong.
Looking to provide one-on-one support for those in need? A startling amount of immigrants being held in Massachusetts, and across the country, hail from Central and Latin America. Families are being detained and separated at our borders and federal policies are holding these immigrants in detention facilities. Incarcerated in these facilities with little to no legal representation or support networks, these immigrants are in dire need of resources and a friendly helping hand. Learn more about how you can get involved.
Sociedad Latina is a leadership development nonprofit specifically serving Hispanic youth ages 11 to 21. The organization provides a range of services—from workforce development and educational enrichment initiatives to programs that focus on arts and culture. Sign up to volunteer.
Interested in learning more about Hispanic Heritage Month? Visit the official website for more information.