Hispanic Heritage Month is the perfect time for Hispanic Americans to celebrate the many unique traditions and honor the history of their rich, vibrant culture. The month-long event was kicked off in the United States on Sept. 15, 1989. This date is noteworthy because several Latin American countries declared their independence from Spain on that date in 1821.
Even if you’re not Hispanic, Latino, and Latinx, you can still join in the festivities, have some fun, and take the opportunity to learn more about the Spanish-speaking countries that make up the Hispanic culture.
Whether you want an all-out party, a low-key evening at home, or something in-between, you can find a few festivities on this list to participate in this year.
Watch Some Movies
There are some fantastic Hispanic movies available on Netflix. Kick off the month by inviting a handful of friends over, pop some popcorn, set up some snacks, and feast your eyes on gems like “The Fury of A Patient Man,” “The Invisible Guest,” “The Distinguished Citizen” and “Veronica.”
Study the History
The Hispanic culture and past is one rich with interesting stories. Dive into it and learn where this culture began and developed, and how its people have contributed to the United States over the decades. Learn about a few of the most prominent Hispanic figures, such as Cesar Chavez, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Roberto Clemente and Sonia Sotomayor.
Attend a Festival
Get out of the house and attend a festival near you. Have fun sampling foods, buying from the vendors, watching the entertainment, and mingling with the other attendees. If you’re close to Knoxville, Tennessee, plan to attend the HoLa Festival Sept. 25-26 at the World’s Fair Park.
I’d like to reference some other locations and mention that Hipotecasa MIG is the Sponsor of the Year for HoLa Festival.
September 12th– Fiestas Patrias 2021 – Nashville, TN
September 12th– Mexican Independence Day Celebration – Woodstock, GA
September 18th– Latin Festival– Chattanooga, TN
September 25th & 26th– Hola Festival – Knoxville, TN
September 25th– Hispanic Heritage Day at Discovery Center– Murfreesboro, TN
September 25th– Latin Fest 2021– Memphis, TN
October 9th– Hola Charlotte Festival– Charlotte, NC
Jam to Some Tunes
You don’t have to look far to find some music that has been inspired by Hispanic culture. Turn up the spicy Latin pop or steamy salsa, enjoy some tropical tunes, or relax to bachata or reggaetón. Add some of the most popular Hispanic musicians to your playlist if they aren’t already on it. Jennifer Lopez, Gloria Estefan, Carlos Santana, Ricky Martin, Pitbull, and Shakira are all great choices. Or simply try out the playlist we’ve made for you.
Shake Your Bootie
Dust off your dancing shoes, or just throw down in your bare feet! Sign up for a rumba, merengue, or a salsa dancing class with your partner. If you’re single, you still have options. Try out flamenco dancing. If you have two left feet, be a spectator and go watch some professional dancing.
Tempt Your Taste Buds
You may already be a lover of Mexican food, but Hispanic Heritage Month is a great time to expand your horizons. Explore culinary delights from Cuba, Peru, and Colombia, to name a few. Find a small local eatery and dine with friends. Be adventurous and choose something on the menu you’ve never tried before. Or, plan a unique night out and book a Latin food cooking class. Learn how to whip up a delicious meal and have fun doing it.
Shop at an Hispanic-Owned Business
Supporting Hispanic businesses with your dollars is a wonderful and easy way to celebrate the month. Almost all industries offer Hispanic-owned options — you just need to know where to look. Read this article to find some fantastic Hispanic-owned companies to do business with.
Support a Nonprofit
Find a local charity that assists the Hispanic population and either donate your time or some cash. There are several that assist women in becoming business owners and a few that help children. Not familiar with a charity? Check them out on Charity Watch or Charity Navigator to make certain your money is used transparently and ethically.
Learn Some Spanish
If your Spanish vocabulary is limited to a few words you remember from high school, brushing up is easy with the assistance of technology. Download an app and set a goal of learning two, five or 10 new words or phrases a day. When the month is over, you’ll be able to communicate better with those who speak little or no English.
While you’re at it, pick up some books written by Hispanic authors. If you like non-fiction, settle down with “Open Veins of Latin America” by Eduardo Galeano, “The Line Becomes A River” by Francisco Cantu, and “Us, in Progress” by Lulu Delacre. If your taste leans more toward fiction, check out “Mexican Gothic” by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, “Love in the Time of Cholera” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and “Thirty Talks Weird Love” by Alessandra Narváez Varela.
Make some plans to take part in this year’s Hispanic Heritage Month. Pick a few of these ideas, or think up a couple of your own. Chances are good you’ll have fun and meet some great people along the way.