Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Caribbean Hispanic Heritage month background graphics

NRCS Caribbean Celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month

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 Hispanic Heritage observance 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.

Hispanic Heritage Month - Latin jazz stamp

Quick Facts

This year’s theme - UNIDOS: INCLUSIVITY FOR A STRONGER NATION - invites us to celebrate Hispanic Heritage and to reflect on how great our tomorrow can be if we hold onto our resilience and hope. It encourages us to reflect on all of the contributions Hispanics have made in the past, and will continue to make in the future. It is also a reminder that we are stronger together.

As of July 1, 2021, the Hispanic population of the United States was 62.6 million people, making people of Hispanic origin the nation's largest ethnic or racial minority (18.9% of the total U.S. population). Additionally:

  • The United States has the 2nd largest population of Hispanic people in the world, second only Mexico.
  • 61.4% were of Mexican background, 9.6% Puerto Rican, 3.9% Cuban, 3.9% Salvadoran, and 3.5% Dominicano (in 2019).
  • 13 states have over 1 million Hispanic residents: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas & Washington.
  • 3.1% of Veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces are Hispanic (in 2021).
  • 6% of businesses in the U.S. were Hispanic-owned (in 2019).
  • 74% of Hispanics have a high school diploma or equivalent.
  • 21% of Hispanics have a bachelor's degree or higher.
  • The U.S. Census projects that the Hispanic population in the United States will be 99.8 million in 2050 and 112.2 million by 2060.

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, José Rodríguez, 787-743-2743 x.109
  • Caribbean Area Civil Rights Advisory Committee Chair, Michelle Catoni, 787-896-3565 x105
  • National Hispanic Special Emphasis Program Manager, Travis Watkins, 717-237-2147

< back to Caribbean Civil Rights page