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  • Writer's pictureEm G

Hispanic Heritage Month

Updated: Jan 15, 2022

Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month, September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Mexico, Spain, the Caribbean, 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 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 day of September 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 September 16 and September18, respectively. Also, Columbus Day or Día de la Raza, which is October 12, falls within this 30 day period.

“According to official data, there are 69 official languages in Mexico; 68 indigenous and Spanish. The ten most spoken aboriginal words in Mexico today are Nahuatl, Chol, Totonaco, Mazateco, Mixteco, Zapoteco, Otomi, Tzotzil, Tzeltal, and Maya. There are another 40 indigenous languages that are spoken in Mexico which are about to disappear because there are very few speakers, for example, the Paipai, Kumiai and Cucapá languages.

The Mayan language is considered one of the oldest in Mexico and has a written record since 200 AD. There are more than 800 thousand people in the country who still speak it, and it is the second most important language after the Nahuatl spoken by more than one million people.

Huitzilopochtli, the patron god of the Mexica, as depicted in the Codex Telleriano-Remensis.”

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