Skip Navigation

Hispanic Emphasis Program

Delaware's Special Emphasis Program Manager (SEPM):


Laurie Gandy, Soil Conservationist/
Hispanic Emphasis Program Manager

For more information on the NRCS Hispanic Heritage Month Poster, contact Laurie Gandy.


Hispanic Heritage Month runs from September 15 to October 15. The celebration began as National Hispanic Heritage Week, which was authorized and requested by Congress in 1968 (Public Law 90-498). It was officially proclaimed as such by President Ford in 1974, calling “upon the people of the United States, especially the education community and those organizations concerned with the protection of human rights, to observe that week with appropriate ceremonies and activities." In 1988 a joint resolution of the Senate and House of Representatives authorized the change to National Hispanic Heritage Month (Public Law 100-402). President Ronald Reagan proclaimed the change official that same year.

Hispanic Heritage Month falls in conjunction with two historic events: the Independence Day of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua on September 15, 1821, and Mexico’s Independence Day on September 16, 1810.

Chile’s Independence Day is on September 18 (El Dieciocho); and Belize’s Independence Day on September 21.

Additionally, October 12 is Dìa de la Raza (Day of Our Race), or Columbus Day, a celebration of mixed heritage society that resulted across the Americas.

You can see when Latin American countries gained independence below.

Over 42 million (14%) of the U.S. population identify themselves as Latino, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Who is Hispanic?

The Hispanic Emphasis Program (HEP) was established initially by a Presidential Directive in 1970 as a Sixteen Point Program for Spanish Speaking Americans. It was designed to assure consideration of the needs and problems of persons of Hispanic origin in all aspects of Federal personnel management, as well as on the access to and delivery of. Hispanics are persons of Mexican, Cuban, Central and South American or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race.

Understanding the Hispanic Culture

  • Understanding The Hispanic Culture - A very good article on Hispanic Family Values,  Etiquette, Rituals and Religion, Celebrations and Holidays, etc.  "Over the past 30 years, the Hispanic population has exhibited tremendous growth in the United States. Hispanics comprise about 11% of the U.S. population, including 3.6 million residing in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Approximately 31 million individuals are identified as Hispanics. The U.S. Hispanic population is projected to become the largest minority group by the year 2006. Seventy percent of the Hispanic population is concentrated in four states - California, Texas, New York, and Florida. Mexican is the largest ethnic subdivision of Hispanics in the United States, comprising about 63.3%, followed by Central and South American (14.4%), Puerto Rican (10.6%), Cuban (4.2%), and other Hispanics (7.4%). " Additional Information

Hispanic's in Delaware

In 2002, the U.S. Hispanic population officially became the largest minority in the United States, and it is projected to continue through at least the year 2050. In 2004, it was reported that over 43.5 million U.S. Hispanics make up almost 15 percent of the U.S. population. This percentage is growing 5 times faster than the general population, which has increased more than 70% in the last 10 years. By the year 2020, which is only 14 years away, 1 out of 5 Americans will be of Hispanic origin.

As of August 2006, the current population of Hispanics here in Delaware is 50,847. New Castle County has the largest concentration of Hispanics than anywhere else in Delaware. The current number is approximately 33,000. Kent and Sussex Counties have approximately 8,000 Hispanics per each county. Sussex County has the largest area of farmland in the state, Kent County is next, and New Castle County has the least amount. The Hispanic population growth is more evident in areas where there is less farmland.

NRCS in Delaware is actively working to reach out to Hispanic Farmers. As part of this effort NRCS had a booth at the 12th Annual Hispanic Festival in Sussex County. This event took place at the Millsboro Little League Complex on State Street on August 20th. NRCS produced Farm Bill Program fact sheets written in Spanish, conservation practices, earth team volunteers and other informative materials in Spanish. Two Delaware Hispanic employees and one Hispanic volunteer worked the booth from 12:00pm to 6:00pm.

The following efforts are currently being implemented: posting programs and services in the La Hoy bilingual newspaper, a Delaware NRCS website link to the Farm Bill programs in Spanish and posters for Spanish-speaking customers.

Conservation Planning NEW!

Conservation planning combines the best elements of cooperative conservation to provide new opportunities to improve environmental performance and maintain productivity. A conservation plan is a critical tool to help farmers make wise management and land use decisions.

To learn more about conservation planning, please view the attached conservation planning brochure (en español):

¿Qué es un Plan de Conservación? (Note: Brochure prints on 8.5 x 14" paper and folds into four panels.)

2000 Census Map of Hispanic Population in Delaware

Thumbnail - Delaware Census Map Thumbnail - New Castle County Census Map Thumbnail - Kent County Census Map Thumbnail - Sussex County Census Map
Delaware New Castle County Kent County Sussex County



Women's History Month - March

Honored Latinas

Major Holidays and Celebrations of Spanish-Speaking Countries

Websites and Documents of Interest:

The following document requires Adobe Acrobat Link to download Adobe Acrobat Readeror Microsoft Excel Link to download Microsoft Excel Readeror Microsoft Word Link to Download Microsoft Word Reader

Adobe Acrobat DocumentNRCS Chief, Arlen Lancaster on Hispanic Heritage Month (33 KB)

Adobe Acrobat DocumentHispanic Heritage Monthly Poster 2006  (3,296 KB)

Adobe Acrobat DocumentHispanics in Rural America  (1.3 MB)

Adobe Acrobat DocumentPlacemat Spanish/English  (112 KB)

Adobe Acrobat DocumentPlacemat Spanish Children  (359 KB)

Microsoft Excel DocumentHispanic Emphasis Program Management Action Plan  (29 KB)

Microsoft Word DocumentNational Hispanic Heritage Month Recipe Book  (1 MB)

Microsoft Word DocumentHow to Type Spanish Accents and Symbols in Microsoft Word  (24 KB)

Microsoft Word DocumentNational Organization of Professional Hispanic NRCS Employee’s Report  (25 KB)

Microsoft Word Document"Cinco de Mayo!" - Just what is "Cinco de Mayo"?  (30 KB)

Microsoft Word DocumentEnglish-Spanish Glossary (233 KB)

Adobe Acrobat DocumentUSDA English-Spanish Glossary (3,044 MB)