Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.
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 September18, respectively.
While we celebrate Latinx communities beyond this month, Hispanic Heritage Month provides us with an opportunity to put an extra spotlight on the contributions, history, and culture of the community. We hope you will join in celebrating and learning with us.
Learn & Access Resources
We encourage you to learn more about Latinx heritage and culture through participation in activities that celebrate Latinx culture, books, podcasts, and other media, and online resources. Here are a few examples:
CMASS: Latinx American Cultural Center
The Cultural Centers are your home away from home and hub for collaborations with student organizations, defined residential communities and academic programs. The Latinx American Cultural Center opened doors in 1989. You are invited to take advantage of study hours, success coaching, educational programs, cultural celebrations and research fellowships.
LACC, Hampden Hall, Rm. 203, Southwest Residential Area
The Smithsonian National Museum of the American Latino
The Smithsonian is building the National Museum of the American Latino to recognize the accomplishments, history, and culture of the Latino communities. Visit their website for resources, virtual exhibits, and events.
Poems for Hispanic Heritage Month
In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month and the rich tradition of poetry from Latinx poets year-round, browse this selection of poems, essays, and multimedia features from poets.org.
Latinx Music Figures
Click through this Google Arts & Culture collection of Latino musicians with embedded audio of interviews and music.
The PALABRA Archive
Listen to audio recordings of prominent writers from Latin America, the Iberian Peninsula, the Caribbean, and other regions with Luso-Hispanic heritage populations reading from their works at the Library of Congress. Historically known as the Archive of Hispanic Literature on Tape (AHLOT), this collection contains nearly eight-hundred recordings of poets and prose writers participating in sessions at the Library’s Recording Laboratory and at other locations around Spain and Latin America. Recordings include sessions with Nobel Laureates Gabriel García Márquez, Juan Ramón Jiménez, Gabriela Mistral, Pablo Neruda, and renowned writers, Jorge Luis Borges, Julio Cortázar and Jorge Amado.
History.com offers a curated collection of articles and stories that explore the history of U.S. Hispanic and Latinx communities. Topics include How the Chicano Movement Championed Mexican American Identity and Fought for Change and the Zoot Suit Riots.
Celebrate & Engage
The UMass community is invited to join in this celebration of Latinx heritage and culture. Let’s strengthen inclusive communities together. Below is the schedule of events provided by CMASS. Please check the CMASS website for any updates to event information.
Latinx Dancing on the Library Promenade
Friday, September 15, 2023, 2:00–4:00 p.m.
UMass Library Promenade (upper deck between Old Chapel and W. E. B. Du Bois Library)
Rain location: Library RECESS room, second floor
Come by for Bachata and Merengue dance instruction and demo. Whether you have never danced these styles or grew up dancing all your life, this event is for you!
Both dances originated in the Dominican Republic but have very distinct trajectories. Dictator Rafael Trujillo preferred Merengue, turning it into the national dance, and banned Bachata claiming it was a lower art form. Both are distinct and beautiful dances that have reached audiences across the Americas.
Latinx American Cultural Center Kickoff
Saturday, September 16, 2023, 7:00–11:00 p.m.
Amherst and Hadley Rooms, Campus Center
Kick off fall semester dancing to reggaeton music with food, great company, and enjoyment!
Reggae in Spanish became Reggaeton. This fusion of rhythms with roots in Panama was highly popularized by artists from Puerto Rico. Like Bachata, the music was criminalized in Puerto Rico. Despite its brief censorship, today’s scholars categorize reggaeton as a fusion of cultures, identities, and musical genres that have defied the established musical etiquette, fueling cross-cultural collaborations.
Hues of Heritage: Paint Night
Tuesday, September 19, 2023, 6:30–8:00 p.m.
SGA Office, Student Union 305
“Si se Puede” (trademarked by the UFW), a slogan conceptualized by Dolores Huertas, has become a chant for empowerment used by labor unions, civil rights organizations, political campaigns, and to draw attention to U.S. immigration reform protests. Here, as it often is, culture is the backdrop for creativity. At this event, we invite you to let culture connect you to your inner painter. Paint your interpretation of a powerful quote by a Latinx icon and share with others by showcasing your painting throughout the month
Thursday, September 21, 2023, 9:00 p.m.–midnight
Latinos Unidos invites you to represent your flag with pride at this Flag Party in Berk Dining Hall. The menus is bussin!
CHC Latin Dance Party
Friday, September 22, 2023, 3:00–5:00 p.m.
CHCRC Concourse (outside Roots Café)
Don’t miss this outdoor party across from Roots Café. Take this opportunity to treat yourself to a cultural celebration regardless of cultural affinity. Food, music, dance and crafts are fun ways to support learning about ourselves and others. The popular sounds of bachata, merengue and salsa will even help you release tension from a week of work. Bring a friend or a colleague along to share the experience!
Baleadas Cooking Demo
Sunday, September 24, 2023, 2:00–4:00 p.m.
A common snack or meal in Honduras, Baleadas is a dish made by layering refried beans, cheese, and sour cream in a freshly made tortilla. The origin of this cultural staple is surrounded by many legends. What we do know is that this is a delicious food you will want to learn how to make! RSVP here for this exciting live cooking demonstration.
CLACLS Fall Reception Dinner
Thursday, September 28, 2023, 6:00–8:30 p.m.
Amherst Room, Campus Center
Get to know your Latin American Caribbean and Latinx community through this Latinx speed-friending activity. Did you know we have 45 tenured faculty, 2053 undergraduate students, 282 staff, and 505 graduate students that identify as Hispanic/Latinx? Our Latinx community on campus is very diverse and rich. Let’s come together to make meaningful and lasting connections.
Monday, October 2, 2023, 7:30 p.m.
This is a three-in-one opportunity to experience a performance, documentary, and question-and-answer session with Chilean singer-songwriter and political activist Nano Stern. The documentary explores the history, development, and transcendence of Chilean music during the socialist government of Allende, and examines the importance of the resistance music form Nueva Cancion through a series of interviews with some of the movement’s most prominent figures. Click here for documentary trailer and tickets.
CLACLS Latinx Film Festival
October 9–13, 2023, 6:00–9:00 p.m.
Integrative Learning Center (Room TBD)