History

Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the history, cultures and contributions of people whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central and South America. The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. This event was enacted into law on August 17, 1988, on the approval of Public Law 100-402.


Important Dates

  • September 15 is the independence day for Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.
  • September 16 is the independence day for Mexico.
  • September 18 is the independence day for Chile.
  • Día de la Raza (Day of the Race) is October 12, and falls within this 30 day period. El Día de la Raza celebrates the fusion of two cultures – the Spanish conquerors and the native people in America.

Learn more about the history by watching this video! Hispanic Heritage Month – NowThis Family Celebrates #HHM


Papel Picado

This month the SJDI committee and Housing and Residence Life will celebrate Hispanic Heritage month and educate students on the Hispanic and Latinx community. Every hall on campus will feature a strand of papel picado (pah-pell pee-ka-doh). It means cut or perforated paper and is the name given to paper flags. These decorations are common in Mexico but have also expanded into other Latinx countries. Papel picado can be traced back as far as the Aztecs!


Movies to watch

Stand and Deliver: Los Angeles high school teacher Jaime Escalante (Edward James Olmos) is being hassled by tough students like Angel Guzman (Lou Diamond Phillips). But Jaime is also pressured by his bosses, who want him to control his raucous classroom. Caught in the middle, he opts to immerse his students in higher math. After intensive study, his students ace California’s calculus test, only to learn that their scores are being questioned. They’ll have to retake the exam in order to quiet the critics.
Streaming on Netflix

McFarland, USA: Track coach Jim White (Kevin Costner) is a newcomer to a predominantly Latino high-school in California’s Central Valley. Coach White and his new students find that they have much to learn about one another, but things begin to change when White realizes the boys’ exceptional running ability. More than just physical prowess drives the teens to succeed; their strong family ties, incredible work ethic and commitment to their team all play a factor in forging these novice runners into champions.
Stream on Disney+ starting October 29th

Coco: Despite his family’s generations-old ban on music, young Miguel dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol Ernesto de la Cruz. Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead. After meeting a charming trickster named Héctor, the two new friends embark on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history.
Stream on Disney+


Books to read

The Poet X: The Poet X is the debut novel of renowned slam poet Elizabeth Acevedo. The novel received the 2018 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. This book follows a young Afro-Latinx girl using slam poetry to understand her mother and the world around her. Ever since Xiomara Batista’s body grew curves, she learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking. With plenty to say this all is poured onto notebook pages where those thoughts must not be shared but she refuses to be silent.

The House on Mango Street: Loved by readers of all ages and acclaimed by critics. The House on Mango Street is the remarkable story of Esperanza Cordero. The story of a young Latina girl in Chicago, inventing for herself and who she will become.