César Chavez, Sonia Sotomayor, Gloria Estefan, Manny Machado, Rita Moreno…the list could go on and on. Hispanics have helped shape this country in countless ways, and it is that month of the year where we recognize their achievements and celebrate their culture.
Hispanic Heritage Month is observed from September 15 to October 15. It is a time to spotlight an array of beautiful cultures and vibrant traditions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, as of July 2022, there are 63.7 million Hispanics in the United States, making it the largest racial or ethnic minority in the country. This makes up 19% of the U.S. population with Arizona, New York, California, Texas and Florida among the states with more than a million Hispanic residents. In California there are more than 15 million Hispanic residents; 40% of the state’s population.
There are many ways to celebrate: read your favorite Isabel Allende’s novel, watch a John Leguizamo movie, cook a delicious Colombian meal, or go salsa dancing with your friends. I am sure you will find an endless array of activities for the entire month.
Hispanics and Higher Education
The number of Hispanics students who enrolled in higher education has had a steady increased for decades. According to the Pew Research Center, between 2000 and 2020, the number of Latinos enrolled at four-year institutions jumped from 620,000 to 2.4 million, a 287% increase. And it is estimated that by 2026, Hispanic enrollment in these institutions will exceed 4.1 million, surpassing the growth rate of other racial groups by 10%, according to The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU).
The percent of STEM degrees conferred to Hispanic students is also on the rise, between 2009 and 2018 it jumped from 9.2% to 14.9%. These are the fastest-growing and highest-paying jobs of the future.
Hispanics bring their one-of-a-kind perspective to different spaces; we can’t wait to see what this new generation of graduates bring to the business landscape.
Hispanic Heritage Month Events
- On Saturday, Sept. 16, Old Town San Diego will host its Fiestas Patrias, where you will be able to enjoy a vibrant showcase of Mexican culture and heritage, including traditional food, music, dances and crafts. The celebration is free and runs from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Visit their website to read the Highlights of the Event.
- During this month the San Diego Public Library will showcase “Nuestra Cultura,” a series of free events Diego celebrating and recognizing the rich heritage, history, contributions, and culture of our Latin American and Indigenous communities. Visit their website to learn about the array of programs for all ages.
- The weekend of Sept. 22-24, the Padres will host Hispanic Heritage Weekend at Petco Park. The festivities begin on Friday with Fiesta in the Park before the game, where fans will be able to enjoy upbeat Latin music from the time gates open until first pitch. On Saturday, after the game enjoy the fireworks show which will be set to Bad Bunny, J Balvin, and other Latin artists. Los Tucanes de Tijuana joins the fun on Sunday for an exclusive postgame concert. Visit their website to learn more, and to purchase your tickets.
- On Saturday 23 visit Balboa Park, where the House of Spain at the International Cottages will host the Latino Lawn Program. Enjoy delicious food and music. The event runs from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
If you are near Los Angeles, there are many arts and cultural activities for your enjoyment. I encourage you to refer to this guide to find the numerous festivals, musical events, theatrical performances, films, poetry readings, and cultural events happening.
- El Grito is a free public event held on Sept.15 at the historic steps of Los Angeles City Hall (200 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012) and Gloria Molina Grand Park from 5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. It will feature a concert with live performances by Banda Machos, Las Colibrí, Las Cafeteras, and Banda Las Angelinas. This annual tradition includes Los Angeles leaders joining the Consul General of Mexico to reenact the historic Cry of Dolores and ring the bell, commemorating the call to arms pronounced by Miguel Hidalgo in 1810, launching the Mexican War for Independence.
- Do not miss the Unsung Heroes: Somos LA exhibition which will be on display at Henry P. Rio Bridge Gallery at City Hall from September 13, 2023 to October 8, 2023. This FREE exhibition is dedicated to our farmworkers and everyday heroes who work tirelessly in often the toughest of conditions to make this country work for us all. Presentation: Wednesday, September 13, 2023 at 10:00 a.m. at Los Angeles City Council Chamber City Hall 200 North Main Street Los Angeles, CA 90012
- Los Angeles Libros Festival will offer two days of entertainment for all ages featuring Spanishlanguage and bilingual storytelling, performances, workshops, and award-winning authors. This event will take place at the Central Library and the programs will be streamed live on YouTube. When: September 29-30; Friday from 9 a.m.-12 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. Where: Los Angeles Central Library, 630 W. 5th St., Los Angeles. It is a FREE event. For more info call 213.228.7250 or visit their website.
- Get ready for Día de los Muertos decorating sugar skulls with colored icing, sequins, glitter, feathers, and foil. For children, teens, and their families. When: October 14, 1:30 p.m. Where: Van Nuys Branch Library, 6250 Sylmar Ave. This is a FREE event. For more info call: 818.756.8453 or visit their website.
- If your choice of activity revolves around the kitchen, you will find several events of your liking in the guide. At Hecho con Amor: Chilaquiles y Salsa Roja we will make a red salsa that is incredibly easy to prepare and more delicious than store-bought versions. Fresh ingredients and homemade salsa are key to making chilaquiles. When: Sept. 23, 10:00 a.m. Where: LA Plaza Cocina, 555 N. Spring St., Los Angeles Cost: Check website for ticket price. For more information call: 323.397.8365 or visit their website.
- Come out to Día de Los Dodgers to honor the spirit and memories of your beloved family members or friends who introduced you to the love of baseball and the Los Angeles Dodgers! This special event ticket package includes a ticket to the game and an exclusive Día de Los Dodgers jersey. When: September 19, 7:10 p.m. Where: Dodger Stadium, 1000 Vin Scully Ave., Los Angeles. Check website for tickets. This special event ticket package must be purchased from the website. For more info visit their website.