What is it?
From September 15th- October 15th, we celebrate Hispanic and Latino individuals, their culture, and their contributions to society. Why start September 15th? This one day is the anniversary of the independence of Costa Rica, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua. In the following few days, Mexico and Chile will also celebrate their freedom from Spanish rule.
As the month draws to a close, we celebrate Día de la Raza on October 12th. Formerly known as Columbus Day, the holiday is set to acknowledge all the cultures and languages negatively impacted by Spanish colonization. A spotlight shines on the mixed indigenous and Spanish heritage. Across the Americas, October 12th is also known as Hispanic Heritage Day, Respect to Cultural Diversity Day, or Indigenous Resistance Day. United States citizens may refer to the holiday as Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
How did it come to be?
In 1968, under the presidency of Lyndon Johnson, Hispanic heritage week began to be officially observed. It was California Congressman George Brown who first introduced the commemorative week. Later, on August 17th, 1988, the 30-day celebration became public law.
Why is it important?
Hispanic Heritage month many purposes. The day fosters cross-cultural understanding. It’s an opportunity to understand another individual’s perspective and become more empathetic and globally minded. Throughout the month, many may consider the Hispanic/ Latino perspective and the challenges they face such as inequity in education or healthcare. There are about 63 million Hispanic or Latino people in the United States. American culture has been shaped by Hispanic people of all walks of life throughout history. Consider the significance of Hispanic food and music are in our culture.
Hispanic Community in Indy:
The Hispanic community in Indianapolis is a vibrant and growing population that contributes significantly to the cultural and economic fabric of the city. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s data, the Hispanic or Latino population in Indianapolis made up approximately 10.2% of the city’s total population in 2021.
The International Center’s partnership with Consul of Mexico Maki Teramoto is vital to its commitment to nurturing ties with the Mexican and Latino population in Indianapolis. The Consulate of Mexico serves as an essential resource for Mexicans and Latinos in the region, offering consular services, legal assistance, and cultural programs to support the Mexican and broader Latino community in Indianapolis and Indiana at large.
Additionally, Indianapolis is part of the Sister Cities Program, which fosters international relationships between cities around the world. One such connection is between Indianapolis and Santiago de Querétaro, Mexico. These partnerships enable cultural exchange, economic cooperation, and educational initiatives that further enhance the multicultural landscape of Indianapolis, benefitting both the Hispanic community and the city as a whole. Such collaborations offer opportunities for cultural enrichment, trade, and educational exchanges, fostering a more inclusive and diverse city. Be sure to check out our calendar for upcoming community events!
By: Amelie Zirnheld, Marketing & Communications Intern | Grace Bland, Marketing & Communications Manager