Hispanic Heritage Month began as a mere week in 1968. It was created by Rep. Edward R. Roybal of Los Angeles, California, who was the first Hispanic from California to be elected to Congress since 1879! President Lyndon Johnson celebrated the first Hispanic Heritage Week on September 17, 1968.
The celebratory week was extended from September 15th through October 15th by Rep. Esteban E. Torres of Pico Rivera, California, and signed into law by President Ronald Reagan in 1988. The month honors the contributions of Hispanic Americans throughout the history of America.
September 15th was chosen in particular as it coincides with the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. A few other countries follow suit and celebrate their independence days shortly after, like Mexico on September 16th, Chile on September 18th, and Belize on September 21st.
The Integral Impact of Hispanics in America’s History
Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates the long and integral impact of Hispanic and Latino Americans in America’s history. Here at Genius Plaza, we are strong believers that representation matters, and are so happy that many of our diverse Learning Champions have impacted the hundreds of thousands of children using our platform. From Cuba to Colombia, many of our Learning Champions hail from all over Latin America, and their cultures drive our students’ inspiration! Our children need to see themselves reflected in the world. This creates a sense of belonging, and allows them to imagine something beyond what can be trying circumstances. Taking time to talk about how Latinos have shaped the services, country, and everyday life the students live can do immeasurable good to a child’s motivation.
Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month
During this year’s Hispanic Heritage Month, we will share the stories of our Latino STEAM Learning Champions at www.geniusplaza.com/careers and across our social media platforms so we can inspire our next generation of Latino leaders in many fields. José Matta at Johnson & Johnson, Carolina Huaranca Mendoza at Kapor Capital, and Don Francisco at NBC Universal are just a few of our Latino Champions!