Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month: 4 Ways to Celebrate Family
Updated: Aug 29
This blog contains links to resources you and your family can use to help explore Hispanic Heritage Month. Some are affiliate links, meaning if you purchase through that link, we will receive credit with that online store or a few pennies; however, links are provided solely for your convenience. The intention of this blog is to help inspire you to explore Hispanic Heritage and the value of family.
Fall season is quickly arriving, I personally can’t wait! With fall comes crisp air, changing leaves and spooky things, but most importantly to me is the period between September 15 and October 15 when we all get to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month! As a second-generation Mexican American, I really take pride in my Hispanic Heritage. When I think of my heritage, I think of Family which can be chosen or given. I want to invite you and your family to educate, observe and celebrate with me.
What does Hispanic Heritage Month mean?
Hispanic Heritage month starts on September 15th and goes to October 15th, to honor the independence days of several Latin American Countries. National Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates, educates, and honors the contributions of an often underrepresented and marginalized group of people. You might think of Hispanic and Latino as racial categories but they are not. Hispanic refers to people who speak Spanish or who have a background in a Spanish-speaking country which means people who are Hispanic may vary in their race and also where they live or where they or their family originated. Latino/Latinx refers to geography, specifically people from Latin America. A person who is Latino may also be Hispanic, or not. For instance, while people from Brazil are considered Latino (because Brazil is a Latin American country), they are not considered Hispanic because Brazil is a former Portuguese colony, not a Spanish one. Recently Latinx has been created as an LGBTQ+ and gender-inclusive alternative to the Latino label.
How to Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month
My family comes with chosen and given members with diverse backgrounds, but the Love is all the same. The following are some things that we have done as a family that we have enjoyed and hope you enjoy as well.
1. Watch Movies
I know we aren’t supposed to talk about Bruno, but we definitely need to. Encanto is a Disney movie that was recently released that shows and introduction to cultural traditions and diversity. Coco is my favorite movie because it highlights cultural traditions in an authentic way, and it is a perfect lead-up to Día de Los Muertos which is celebrated right after Hispanic Heritage Month in November. The Book of Life and Vivo are also must watch movies and a favorite with the kids. If you’re wanting a tearjerker for older kids and adults, Under the Same Moon tackles the struggles of family and immigration, and it will be sure to move you.
2. Try traditional foods
FOOD is what brings us together. We all know that if we are going to our mom’s house, we are about to eat good, so don’t eat before. Cooking is my mother’s way of showing how much she loves us. Prepping the food is my favorite because that is the time we can spend as a family catching up. Some of my favorite traditional foods are, carne asada, posole, tamales and empanadas de carne molida.
If you are wanting to try and learn a new recipe and try new food here is a link to making empanadas de carne molida that I hope you enjoy Ground Beef Empanadas.
3. Read Books
Stories are my favorite way to help paint a picture for me and to learn about new things. Reading provides new perspectives and introduces new worlds. Here are some books by Hispanic and Latinx authors.
Areli is a Dreamer by Areli Morales
Sing with me: The story of Selena Quintanilla by Diana Lopez
Across the Bay by Carlos Aponte
Mango, Abuela, and Me by Meg Medina
Paletero Man by Lucky Diaz
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez
The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henríquez
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz
The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende
Caramelo by Sandra Cisneros
The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
The Undocumented Americans by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio
Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza by Gloria Anzaldúa
The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches from the Border by Francisco Cantú
The Crusades of Cesar Chavez: A Biography by Miriam Pawel
Frida: A Biography of Frida Kahlo by Hayden Herrera
Enrique's Journey by Sonia Nazario
Solito by Javier Zamora
4. Attend Events
Here are two great events in Indiana celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month 2023:
Saturday, September 16 noon-8pm FIESTA Indianapolis 2023, Richard G. Lugar Plaza
Saturday, September 23 noon-5pm Latino Heritage Festival at the Global Village Welcome Center, Indianapolis.