Observed from September 15 to October 15, Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates Hispanic people and their incredible contributions to the U.S. It’s a time for the community to take pride in their beautiful ancestry and for allies to continue to show their support.
Whether you’re Hispanic, Latinx or an ally to both communities, you can commemorate the month with activities that will open up a new world of traditions and pastimes. Supporting a local business is as easy as enjoying a delicious to-go meal, like mangú from the Dominican Republic or sancocho from Panama. Otherwise, you can flip on the TV and watch a movie in Spanish or riveting documentary about Mexico’s history. While shopping online for your friend's birthday, consider visiting a Latinx Etsy shop to browse for goodies.
For more ideas on how to partake, take a look below:
The best way to kick off Hispanic Heritage Month? Make an authentic, delicious dinner, of course. If you love Mexican food, consider whipping up tacos with your choice of meat, cilantro, diced onions, and green salsa —oh, and don't forget fresh lime juice!
Whether you're breezing through a to-do list or going on your morning run, there's nothing quite like jamming to a playlist of Latin songs to motivate you. The choices are endless with artists like J Balvin, Bad Bunny, Ozuna, Karol G, Natti Natasha, Becky G, and more. Plus, you'll discover new Spanglish hits like "Una Dia (One Day)" with Dua Lipa.
You can't speak about the arts without mentioning Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, Salvador Dalí, or Pablo Picasso. If you're feeling particularly creative, choose your favorite painting by a Hispanic artist and put your brush to the canvas. You might even want to make it a fun paint-and-wine night with your significant other.
A beloved pastime for Puerto Ricans, Dominicans and Cubans, dominoes is a tile game that brings the community together. Clear a table and grab a box of dominoes to start playing with friends. Otherwise, you can try your luck with a game of lotería, which means "lottery" in English. It's basically another version of bingo with cards and is equally as fun.
It's time to turn on those subtitles and discover a new world of film. Directors like Alfonso Cuarón and Guillermo del Toro are making breathtaking movies like Roma and Pan’s Labyrinth that you don't want to miss out on. If you don't know where to get started, we've rounded up the best Spanish language movies on Netflix.
Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month all year by supporting local businesses. Food wise, look up restaurants in your area that serve treats such as Colombian empanadas or Mexican sweet bread. You can also hop online and shop for beauty, fashion, and home products from Latinx-owned shops.
Grab a partner to learn the intimate movement of bachata, or gather a couple of friends so you can learn the fast pulse of mambo and cha cha together. Virtual and in-person classes are available for beginners and experts depending on the location. Check out Latin Dancing Online or Alvin Ailey for more information.
With more than 60 million Hispanics in the U.S., many are first-generation Americans who are navigating the education system and the job market on their own. Consider donating to organizations like the Hispanic Heritage Foundation and Latinos for Education. There are also social justice groups like RAICES and Latino Equality Alliance that are calling attention to important causes like immigration.
Hispanic Heritage Month starts with five Latin American countries celebrating their Independence Day. The following day, September 16, Mexico observes their independence (not on Cinco de Mayo, like many might think). Dive into Mexico's rich history through books, movies, and documentaries. Who knows, you might pick up a word or two of Spanish.
If you're ready to get an overview of Latin history, Colombian actor John Leguizamo has got you covered. His one-man Broadway show Latin History for Morons on Netflix takes you through 3,000 years of Latin history starting from the Maya civilization to the modern age of Pitbull. The stand-up comedy features Hispanic and Latinx references that'll immediately speak to you.
Don't have Netflix? You can also check out some of the best-selling books about Latin American history on Amazon.
Hispanics and Latinx folks aren’t only showing off their talents in theaters or on TV. Many have also taken to social media platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok to connect with a larger audience: YouTuber Amy Serrano chats about fashion, TikTok star Stacey Diaz touches on mental health, and Instagrammer Nikki Glamour shares tips from her work experience.