This fantastic mural was originally painted by Los Dos Streetscapers (Wayne Healy and David Botello) in 1977. The mural, in the Lincoln Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, depicts the Latino (specifically, Mexican American) experience.

Photograph by Jodi Cobb, National Geographic

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    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.

    celebrate Verb

    to observe or mark an important event with public and private ceremonies or festivities.

    contribute Verb

    to give or donate.

    culture Noun

    learned behavior of people, including their languages, belief systems, social structures, institutions, and material goods.

    distinction Noun

    difference.

    expand Verb

    to grow or get larger.

    heritage Noun

    cultural or family background.

    Hispanic Adjective

    having to do with people and culture tracing their ancestry to Spanish-speaking nations in Latin America.

    honor Verb

    to highly respect or recognize as superior.

    independence Noun

    state or situation of being free.

    indigenous Adjective

    characteristic to or of a specific place.

    Latin America Noun

    South America, Central America, the Caribbean, and Mexico.

    Latino Noun

    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