Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month

Papel picado in green, yellow, blue, purple and pink colors

Co-written by Beatriz Sanchez and Karla Alvarez (Updated from original October 2020 blog post)

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 Doris Salcedo and José Clemente Orozco — to lifting farm laborers’ civil rights through tireless activism by César Chavez and Dolores Huerta — to 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.

What Is Hispanic Heritage Month?

Guatemalan wooden-carved masks
Guatemalan wooden-carved masks

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, Indígena, Chicanx/a/o or Latinx, this month is dedicated to you!

Resources & Events from SJPL

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


Recommended Books

Tales From La Vida: A Latinx Comics Anthology, book cover

Tales From La Vida: A Latinx Comics Anthology Frederick Luis Aldama

Collection of comics created by Latinx artists and writers that comes together to shed light on their various autobiographical experiences within the language, culture, history, and sociopolitics of the region.


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.

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.

...Y No Se Lo Tragó La Tierra, book cover

...Y No Se Lo Tragó La Tierra Tomás Rivera

Rivera's masterpiece recounts the experiences of a Mexican-American community through the eyes of a young boy.

Dreamers, book cover

Dreamers Yuyi Morales

Yuyi Morales tells her own immigration story in this illustrated picture book.

Planting Stories: the Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré, book cover

Planting Stories: the Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré Anika Denise

"An illustrated book about the New York City's first Puerto Rican librarian."

Ethnic Community Builders: Mexican Americans in Search of Justice and Power, book cover

Ethnic Community Builders: Mexican Americans in Search of Justice and Power Francisco Jiménez, Alma García, Richard A. García

"An oral history of Mexican American activism in San Jose, California, over the past half century. The authors present interviews of fourteen people of various stripes - teachers, politicians, radio personalities - who have been influential in the development of a major urban center with a significant ethnic population."

Latinitas, book cover

Latinitas Juliet Menéndez

"A celebration of Latinas and Latin American women who followed their dreams."

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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