Hispanic Heritage Month


Abigail Cayetano, Staff Writer

“Hispanic, Latino… They are like the same thing, right?”

It’s something nearly every member of these heritages has heard at one point in their lives and is an unfortunate lumping-together of two illustrious birthrights.

Many people today believe that Hispanic and Latino mean the same thing, but they are actually quite different. Hispanic means to speak or descent from spanish-speaking countries, while Latino means to come from Latin America.

Some Hispanic countries are Mexico, Ecuador, Peru, Argentina, and others. In total there are 20 Hispanic countries to originate from, but the most common ones are Mexico, Cuba, El Salvador, and Colombia.  As of 2016 the U.S. the Hispanic population has grown over time to be 57 million people.

Before there was Hispanic Heritage Month, there was only Hispanic Heritage Week which started in 1968 with President Lyndon Johnson. Later it was changed by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 because U.S. Representative and proud Latino, Esteban E. Torres, asked for the time to be expanded to a month.

Hispanic Heritage Month is unusual because it starts mid-month on the 15th. It was purposely scheduled this way as three Hispanic countries celebrate independence on that very day.

Hispanics come to the U.S. for multiple reasons like better jobs, family, and opportunity at a better life.  After years and years of hard work an education Hispanic cultures are slowly being accepted and celebrated for what they achieve. The U.S. Military celebrates by honoring sailors of Hispanic Heritage.

From the time that Hispanics were given rights in the US to now they have accomplished many things like inventions, Hall of Fame, first generation politicians, etc. Hall of Famers include Luis Apariciol, Buck Canal, and Jaime Jarrín all for baseball. Also Franklin Ramón Chang Díaz is a Costa Rican former NASA astronaut is founder and CEO of Ad Astra Rocket Company. Ellen Ochoa invented optical analysis systems and was the world’s first Hispanic astronaut.

In the world there are 20 countries that are Hispanic that’s about 9.7% of the Earth’s countries. Although it seems small we still must celebrate and appreciate the culture and what is his brought for us.

List of Hispanic Countries 

  • Mexico
  • Bolivia
  • Columbia 
  • Chile
  • Cuba
  • Honduras
  • Spain
  • El Salvador 
  • Argentina 
  • Paraguay 
  • Uruguay 
  • Guatemala 
  • Dominican Republic 
  • Puerto Rico 
  • Venezuela 
  • Peru
  • Ecuador
  • Nicaragua
  • Panama 
  • Costa Rica