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Celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month!

2021 Hispanic Heritage Month Poster - Esperanza: A celebration of Hispanic Heritage and Hope - Past to Future - graphic design by Eliana de LeonEach 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.

On September 29th from 1:30 - 3:00 CST, NRCS Employee Organizations [Women in NRCS (WiN), the National Organization of Professional Hispanic NRCS Employees (NOPHNRCSE), Asian Pacific Islander Organization (APIO), American Indian Alaska Native Employees Association (AIANEA), Equality USDA and the National Organization of Professional NRCS Black Employees (NOPBNRCSE)] will host a virtual "Esperanza: A Celebration of Hispanic Heritage and Hope" spotlighting Latinas(x) in Conservation. This event will feature a panel of Latinas and their accomplishments in addition to barriers they faced, while showcasing the seeds of hope that allowed them to be successful. The keynote speaker will feature FPAC Deputy Undersecretary Gloria Montano Greene. Register Here.

2021 Hispanic Heritage Month Poster Esperanza: A Celebration of Hispanic Heritage and Hope - artwork by Adriana CastilloQuick Facts

This year’s theme - ESPERANZA: A CELEBRATION OF HISPANIC HERITAGE AND HOPE - 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, 2019, the Hispanic population of the United States was 60.6 million people, making people of Hispanic origin the nation's largest ethnic or racial minority (18.5% of the total U.S. population). Additionally:

  • The United States has the 2nd largest population of Hispanic people in the world, second only Mexico.
  • 61.5% were of Mexican background, 9.6% Puerto Rican, 3.9% Cuban, 3.9% Salvadoran, and 3.5% Dominicano (in 2019).
  • 12 states have over 1 million Hispanic residents: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania & Texas.
  • 1.28 million Hispanics are Veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces (in 2018).
  • 4.65 million businesses in the U.S. were Hispanic-owned (in 2018).
  • 14 million Hispanic students are enrolled in U.S. elementary education and 4 million Hispanic students are enrolled in post-secondary education.
  • 27% of U.S. students from pre-K to 12th grade are Hispanic.
  • 20% of all U.S. college students are Hispanic.
  • 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.

Flag of Puerto Rico--Back Story After Hurricane Maria - The History of Puerto Rico and 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