Did you know Sonia Sotomayor, the daughter of Puerto Rican-born parents, is the first Hispanic and Latina Supreme Court Justice? Are you familiar with the International Space Station? Carlos Noriega, an astronaut, computer scientist, and mission specialist from Peru, was part of the team to assemble the ISS.
A countless number of Hispanic and Latin Americans have made significant contributions to the United States. During Hispanic Heritage Month, we celebrate the culture and origins of Hispanic and Latin Americans. The celebration begins on September 15 and continues through October 15.
According to a 2009 study conducted by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, researchers found that Hispanic and Latino children who grow up informed of their own culture are more likely to develop healthy behaviors than those who don’t. Children who celebrate their culture display higher self-esteem and are less likely to have behavior challenges. At the Greensboro Children’s Museum, it is our mission to engage all children and families in hands-on learning through play. We want to ensure all children feel empowered to be themselves and see their experiences reflected in our programming.
On Sunday, September 22, 2019 from 1p to 5p, held a special Hispanic Heritage Month celebration with special guests Casa Azul of Greensboro, Velmy Trinidad and Ballet Folklorico de Julio Ruiz.
Here are four fun facts you can discuss with your children to help them learn about the origins of this celebration and why it’s important.
- September 15 was selected as the start date for Hispanic Heritage Month because it marks the anniversary of when five Latin American countries gained their independence in 1821: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Additionally, Mexico, Chile, and Belize celebrate their independence days on September 16, September 18, and September 21, respectively.
- Hispanic Heritage Month first began as Hispanic Heritage Week in 1968 when President Lyndon B. Johnson proclaimed it as sponsored by Congress. In 1988, the celebration was expanded to a month and enacted into law by President Ronald Reagan.
- Although used interchangeably, ‘Hispanic’ and ‘Latino’ have different meanings. Hispanic refers to anyone from Spain or Spanish-speaking parts of Latin America, but does not include Brazil. Latino refers to anyone from Spanish-speaking and Portuguese-speaking parts of Latin America, but does not include Spain and Portugal.
- Hispanics and Latinos are North Carolina’s fastest growing ethnic group. In 2016, NC’s Hispanic population was nearing 1 million, with 932,000 residents. There are an estimated 41,000 Hispanic residents living in Guilford County representing a diversity of cultural and ethnic origins.