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Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month

Flags from the Latin America region

Hispanic and Latinx Americans have a long history of contributing to the United States and shaping our society - bringing a wealth of traditions and cultural customs, as well as economic growth. These contributions vary - from vivid art expositions or obras de arte from Frida Khalo and Antonio Berni that present bold perspectives - to lifting farm laborers’ civil rights through tireless activism by Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta - to the introduction of el sabor de la Salsa, music inspired and introduced by Afro-Cubanos during the vibrant 1960s in New York - to a range of culinary staples, to name a few. Many have pioneered and persevered throughout upheavals, triumphs, and hardships.

Colombian dancer in traditional attire

Hispanic Heritage Month is a month-long commemoration in the United States dedicated to celebrating the culture, history, influence, and contributions of those who share ancestors from Spain and Latin America. Each year, it is celebrated from September 15 through October 15. Its initial starting period (September 15-18) is very significant and highlights the anniversary of the independence from Spain of several Latin American countries that include Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and Nicaragua. The month-long commemoration concludes with el Día de la Raza, a day to acknowledge the multicultural and multi-ethnic heritage of the mixed indigenous and European cultures. Whether you’re Mestizo, Mulato, Indigena, or Latinx, this month is dedicated to you!

In honor of all Hispanic and Latinx Americans, the San José Public Library is proud to share a curated collection of library resources that commemorate Hispanic Heritage Month.

-Co-written by Beatriz Sanchez and Karla Alvarez

Ellen Ochoa: Astronaut and Inventor, book cover

Ellen Ochoa: Astronaut and Inventor Anne E. Schraff

Explores the life of Ellen Ochoa from her childhood in California to her missions in space. On April 6, 1993, Ellen Ochoa, the mission specialist joined the team of aboard the shuttle DISCOVERY. With this space shuttle launch, Ellen Ochoa became the first Latina to enter space. A brilliant inventor and an experienced astronaut, Ochoa quickly moved up the ranks at NASA and toured schools throughout the country, encouraging students to follow their dreams.


Cooking the Central American Way: Culturally Authentic Foods Including Low-fat and Vegetarian Recipe, book cover

Cooking the Central American Way: Culturally Authentic Foods Including Low-fat and Vegetarian Recipe Alison Behnke

Cooking the Central American Way serves up tantalizing recipes for yucca fritters, bean soup, tres leches cake and more!


With a Star in my Hand: Rubén Darío, Poetry Hero, book cover

With a Star in my Hand: Rubén Darío, Poetry Hero Margarita Engle

A novel about Rubén Darío, the Nicaraguan poet and folk hero who initiated the Modernismo literary movement. This book shares how Rubén came to discover the magic of storytelling.

Just Ask! Be Different Be Brave, Be You, book cover

Just Ask! Be Different Be Brave, Be You Sonia Sotomayor

Sonia and her friends plant a garden, and each one contributes in his or her own special way, in a book that celebrates the many differences among humans.

Recordando a Tito Puente: El rey del timbal, book cover

Recordando a Tito Puente: El rey del timbal Steven Joseph Loza

He is known as "El Rey"—the king—and has come to epitomize the Latin experience in music, not just to Latinos throughout the United States and Latin America but to a worldwide audience of all backgrounds. Tito Puente and the Making of Latin Music is an in-depth historical, musical, and cultural look at the career and the influence of this giant of Latin music.


Monseñor: The Last Journey of Óscar Romero, book cover

Monseñor: The Last Journey of Óscar Romero DVD

In El Salvador in the late '70s, Monseñor Óscar Romero became the voice of the poor, the disenfranchised, and the disappeared, all struggling under a corrupt Salvadoran regime. Appointed Archbishop in early 1977, Monseñor Romero worked tirelessly and in constant personal peril until the day he was assassinated in March of 1980.

Blog Category
Adult Nonfiction


Submitted by Jo-Ann Wang on Fri, 09/18/2020 - 5:40 PM


Your Comment
I love it! Thanks so much for this very timely blog. Love the pictures.

Submitted by Familia Aguila… on Mon, 09/21/2020 - 1:37 PM


Your Comment
me encanta cuando se refieren a una cultura hispana como equipo. ya que ahora en dia todos somos o estamos muy difersificados como familia e como grupos familiares.
mi familia es Mexico/ Salvadoreña / Americana y es bueno ser incluido en un mismo grupo y no singular a un grupo especifico..
bueno... Gracias a todos x darnos la oportunidad de expresarnos

Sra Aguilar

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