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 “Unidos: Inclusivity for a Stronger Nation”. The theme strives to ensure representation and welcoming of all voices to build a stronger 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. Learn the difference between what it means to be Hispanic and Latino. Did you know that a Hispanic person can also be a Latina or Latino but not all Latinos are Hispanic? Learn more in this video: Latino or Hispanic? What's the difference? - BBC News - YouTube.

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

  3. Go on a virtual tour of Machu Pichu and Huayna Pichu, Peru Experience Machu Picchu in Virtual Reality. ( or explore the Teotihuacan Pyramids in Mexico Experience Pyramids of Teotihuacan in Virtual Reality (

  4. Watch a documentary series that chronicles the diverse history and experiences of the Latino population Latino Americans | Episode 1: Foreigners in Their Own Land | PBS or watch a movie that represents Hispanic/Latin culture such as Coco, Encanto, Selena, Under the Same Moon, or In the Time of Butterflies.

  5. Learn 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!

  6. Watch this TedTalk by America Ferrera America Ferrera: My identity is a superpower -- not an obstacle | TED - YouTube.

  7. Explore the National Archives Hispanic Heritage Month website