The University of New Mexico Department of Anthropology celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month, Sept. 15 through Oct. 15. The department website features a page full of resources for Hispanic Heritage Month, including UNM Hispanic organizations, Hispanic Heritage Month history, Hispanic scholars, events, research, news, and Hispanic organizations.

The Anthropology website Hispanic Heritage Month page includes information about El Centro de la Raza, including a message from director Rosa Isela Cervantes, UNM Chicana/o, Hispano, and Mexicano studies, the UNM Department of Spanish and PortugueseUNM Latin American and Iberian Institute, a list of events, scholars at UNM, and a video invitation to the community to be part of Hispanic Heritage Month at UNM.

Hispanics and racism

About Hispanic Heritage Month
Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month 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 started 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 Sept. 15 and ending on Oct. 15.

It was enacted into law on Aug. 17, 1988, on the approval of Public Law 100-402. The day of Sept. 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on Sept. 16 and Sept. 18, respectively. Also, Columbus Day or Día de la Raza, which is Oct. 12, falls within this 30-day period. 

  • Read more about the history of Hispanic Heritage Month and learn about events on the Library of Congress website

People who identify with the terms “Hispanic” or “Latino” are those who classify themselves in one of the specific Hispanic or Latino categories listed on the decennial census questionnaire and various Census Bureau survey questionnaires – “Mexican, Mexican American, Chicano” or “Puerto Rican” or “Cuban” – as well as those who indicate that they are “another Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin.”  

The 2010 Census question on Hispanic origin included five separate response categories and one area where respondents could write in a specific Hispanic origin group. The first response category was intended for respondents who do not identify as Hispanic. The remaining response categories (“Mexican, Mexican Am., Chicano”; “Puerto Rican”; “Cuban”; and “another Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin”) and write-in answers can be combined to create the OMB category of Hispanic." 

For more information on Hispanic Heritage Month, visit the Anthropology Department website.

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