On September 15, 1968, the United States first celebrated Hispanic Heritage Week. In 1988, the celebration was expanded to a month. The dates were chosen to honor the independence movement in several Latin American nations—Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua celebrate their independence on September 15; Mexico on September 16; and Chile on September 18.Hispanic Heritage Month honors the contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans. Hispanic and Latino Americans can have European, African, Asian, and indigenous ancestry. The distinction between Hispanic and Latino is often misunderstood. People with Hispanic origins trace their ancestry to Spanish-speaking countries, such as Mexico or Spain. Latinos trace their ancestry to Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking Latin American countries, such as Brazil.According to the 2010 U.S. Census, Hispanic and Latino groups with the largest populations in the United States are Mexican, Puerto Rican, and Cuban.
Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry ancestry Noun
family (genealogical) or historical background.
to observe or mark an important event with public and private ceremonies or festivities.
to give or donate.
learned behavior of people, including their languages, belief systems, social structures, institutions, and material goods.
to grow or get larger.
cultural or family background.
having to do with people and culture tracing their ancestry to Spanish-speaking nations in Latin America.
to highly respect or recognize as superior.
state or situation of being free.
characteristic to or of a specific place.
Encyclopedic Entry: indigenous Latin America Noun
South America, Central America, the Caribbean, and Mexico.
having to do with people and culture who trace their ancestry to Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking nations of Latin America.
U.S. Census Noun
count of everyone in the U.S., conducted every 10 years.
Encyclopedic Entry: U.S. Census