Celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month

The Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan joins the Hispanic community in celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month, which takes place from September 15 to October 15. We pay tribute to the generations of Hispanics who have positively influenced and enriched our West Michigan community and our nation. This year’s theme was released by The National Council of Hispanic Program Managers and is “Todos Somos, Somos Uno: We Are All, We Are One”. The theme highlights how the Hispanic population represents multiple countries and cultures, yet still come together as one large community.

This observation began in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week and was expanded to a 30-day period in 1988. “The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September 18, respectively” ( There are a number of important resources that celebrate and recognize these achievements of Hispanics, as well as some ways that you can get involved! We’ve compiled a few of them in a list, see below for a few ideas of how you can participate in or celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month.

  1. Support a local Hispanic or Latin-owned restaurant or supermercado near you! Try a new dish or buy ingredients to make your own meal with authentic ingredients.

  2. Learn about Jose Hernandez’ journey from dreamer, to farmworker, to astronaut in the Biopic “A Million Miles Away”. Some family-friendly movie options that represent Hispanic/Latin culture are “The Book of Life”, “Coco”, and “Encanto”.

  3. Practice Spanish by using a free app. Duolingo, for example, is a great app for your cellphone or tablet that will help you learn Spanish. You can even create a group of friends or family members and learn together! Spanish is the second most widely spoken language in the United States.

  4. Explore the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Latino virtual exhibitions Virtual Exhibitions | National Museum of the American Latino (

  5. Baila (dance) to the rhythm of Latin-inspired music with this 15-minute dance workout by Silver Sneakers.