National Hispanic Heritage Month

National Hispanic Heritage Month is September 15 to October 15

National Hispanic Heritage Month honors the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens who trace their ancestry to Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and the Spanish-speaking countries of Central and South America. The first formal recognition of Hispanic Heritage was made by Congress in 1968. Each year, we observe and celebrate with our Hispanic neighbors.  Both the AFT and NEA websites have a collection of resources to help teachers and ESPs celebrate the month with their students and highlight some of the many significant contributions Hispanics have made to our country. You will also find additional links to more classroom information below.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 44 million people living in the United States are of Hispanic origin. That's about 14 percent of us! It is essential that all students learn to understand the ethnic diversity that is our country.


September 15, which is the start of Hispanic Heritage Month, marks the anniversary of independence for five Latin American countries—Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico declared its independence on September 16, and Chile on September 18. 


In 1968, Congress authorized President Lyndon B. Johnson to proclaim a week in September as National Hispanic Heritage Week. The observance was expanded in 1988 to a month long celebration (Sept. 15-Oct. 15).


The term Hispanic, as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau, refers to Spanish-speaking people in the United States of any race. On the 2000 Census form, people of Spanish/Hispanic/Latino origin could identify themselves as Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, or "other Spanish/Hispanic/Latino." More than 35 million people identified themselves as Hispanic or Latino on the 2000 Census.


Classroom Resources for National Hispanic Heritage Month

NEA Resources - NEA Lessons: Hispanic Heritage Month

AFT Resources - AFT Tools for Teachers Hispanic Heritage Month Resources

Meet Our First Hispanic Supreme Court Justice

Read, Write, Think: Lesson plans, web links and text

Teacher Resources from the Library of Congress -

EdWorld lesson plans -

Teaching Tolerance-Hispanic Heritage Month Lesson Plan
Latinos and the Fourteenth Amendment: A Primary Document Activity
Level: Grades 6 to 8, Grades 9 to 12
Subject: Reading and Language Arts, Social Studies, ELL / ESL

Learn about the significance of the Spanish Shipwrecks along the Florida coast

Learn more about Hispanic artistswho have had a lasting impact on the history of art:

Hispanics have played a vital role in the events that led to the designation of national treasures in the National Park System. Florida has several of these sites. For more information, contact the National Park Service Office of Public Inquiries at 202-208-4747 or visit, click on Visit your Parks. Florida national parks include:

  • Biscayne National Park, Florida


  • Castillo de San Marcos National Monument- St. Augustine, Fl.


  • De Soto National Memorial -Bradenton, Florida


  • Fort Matanzas National Monument- St. Augustine, Florida

Discover Tampa's Ybor City-a National Historic Landmark District


















































































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