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Celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month 2016!

Celebrate Hispanic & Latino Heritage Month September 15-October 15, 2016Each 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 observation began 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. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988, on the approval of Public Law 100-402.

The September 15th date is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for the 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. Also, Columbus Day or Día de la Raza, which is October 12, falls within this 30 day period.

Want to Join our Conservation Team?

As part of our Hispanic Heritage Month celebration, NRCS is joining our sister USDA agencies to host recruiting events at two Puerto Rican universities:

Hispanic-owned businesses by type in the U.S. infographic - Sectors with at least 50,000 businesses, from 2012 survey of business owners. All businesses: 27.6 million; Hispanic-owned businesses: 3.3 million.Quick Facts

This year’s theme - “Honoring our Heritage,- Building our Future” - invites us to reflect on Hispanic Americans’ vitality and their meaningful legacy in our Nation’s cultural framework. As of July 1, 2015, the Hispanic population of the United States was 56.6 million people, making people of Hispanic origin the nation's largest ethnic or racial minority (17.6% of the total U.S. population). Additionally:

  • The United States has the 2nd largest population of Hispanic people in the world, second only Mexico.
  • Of the 56.6 million Hispanics in the United States, 63.9% were of Mexican background, 9.5% Puerto Rican, 3.8% Salvadoran, 3.7% Cuban, 3.2% Dominicano, and 2.4% Guatemalan.
  • Nine states have over 1 million Hispanic residents: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York & Texas.
  • 1.2 million Hispanics are Veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces.
  • 3.3 million businesses in the U.S. were Hispanic-owned (in 2012).

Please support the many activities taking place around the Nation in commemoration of National Hispanic Heritage Month and the many contributions Hispanics have made to the United States.

More Information


  • Caribbean Area Hispanic Special Emphasis Program Manager, Ismael Matos, 787-766-6139
  • Caribbean Area Civil Rights Advisory Committee Chair, Eng. Lydia E. Collazo, 787-743-2743 x.112
  • National Hispanic Special Emphasis Program Manager, Rick Tafoya, 505-761-4427