Hispanic Heritage Month is upon us and while Hispanic heritage should be recognized all-year, now is an especially opportune time to participate and celebrate regardless of your ethnic background.
To brush up your knowledge, here are a few quick facts about Hispanic Heritage Month. First, Hispanic Heritage Month spans across September 15th – October 15th to mark the historical significance of September 15th for several Latin American countries. It is the anniversary of independence for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Second, the month actually began as a commemorative week in June 1968 as an outgrowth of the civil rights movement. In 1989, the week was lengthened to 31 days under former President George H.W. Bush. Lastly, Hispanic does not refer to race. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, “Hispanics or Latino refers to a person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin regardless of race.” Bonus point for the road, over 40 percent of Texans in the 2020 Census identified as Hispanic or Latino!
Now that you know a little bit more, how can you participate in Hispanic Heritage Month in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex?
1. Visit the Latino Cultural Center
The Latino Cultural Center in Dallas, TX spotlights Latino works, often by local artists. It serves to preserve, develop, and promote Latino and Hispanic arts and culture. The current featured exhibit is Yanga and the AfroMexican Experience. It is the first museum exhibition exclusively about Yanga, the first liberator of the Americas, and it explores his historical narrative with documents from the Archivo General de la Nacion (National Archives) in Mexico City and Archivo General de Indias (Archive of the Indies) in Seville, Spain.
Location: Latino Cultural Center | 2600 Live Oak St, Dallas, TX 75204
Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Admission: Free (excluding certain events, check online)
2. Support Local Hispanic Businesses – Latinidad Festival
Here in North Texas, there are a plethora of Hispanic-owned businesses you support year-round if you don’t already. This includes restaurants, boutiques, grocery stores, and plenty more. Additionally, you and your family can celebrate the diversity of Latin America through food, music, dance, local vendors, and art at the Latinidad Festival Sept 17, 2022. This family-friendly event is free and includes artists’ workshops and performances! For Festival Schedule and Free RSVP visit here.
Location: Strauss Square | 2389 Flora Street, Dallas, TX, 75201
Hours: Saturday, September 17, 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Admission: Free with RSVP
3. Take a Dance Class
Hispanic culture is well known for its music and dance. Styles, routines, and techniques are just as diverse as the people! As a fun way to get in some physical activity while celebrating our communities’ diversity, try taking a dance class this Hispanic Heritage month. There are plenty of studios where you can learn Salsa, Bachata, Tango, Cha Cha, or Rumba (to name a few), but you can always look for free or discounted introductory classes to get started.
4. Take a Language Lesson
In Texas, knowing a bit of Spanish can go a long way. Spanish speaking skills are not only useful when communicating with other native speakers, but also it broadens your opportunities to travel, live, and work in different countries around the world! There are plenty of free online language platforms including Duolingo, an online UT Austin course, and StudySpanish.com. For a list of options visit here.
2020 U.S. Census Bureau (2021). QuickFacts Texas. Retrieved from https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/TX/RHI725221#qf-headnote-b