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On September 15, 1968, the United States first celebrated Hispanic Heritage Week. Today, the celebration lasts a whole month!
 
Hispanic Heritage Month honors Hispanic and Latino Americans. People with Hispanic heritage trace their ancestry to Spanish-speaking countries, such as Mexico or Spain. People with Latino heritage trace their ancestry to Spanish- or Portuguese-speaking countries, such as Brazil.
 
Hispanic and Latino Americans contribute to all aspects of American culture, from Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor (who has Puerto Rican ancestry) to writer Junot Diaz (who has Dominican ancestry) to fashion designer Carolina Herrera (who has Venezuelan ancestry) to boxing great Oscar de la Hoya (who has Mexican ancestry) to actress Cameron Diaz (who has Cuban ancestry).
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.

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.

Noun

count of everyone in the U.S., conducted every 10 years.