National Hispanic Heritage Month, celebrated from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15, is an opportunity to honor the contributions and achievements of Hispanics/Latinos in the U.S.
The observance begins on the anniversary date of independence for seven Latin American countries (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico and Chile). It ends shortly after Columbus Day— celebrated in many Latin American countries as Día de la Raza (Day of the People)—which commemorates the first encounters of Europeans and Native Americans, on Oct. 12.
Comprising 17 percent of the U.S. population, Hispanics/Latinos are an influential and growing demographic. Hispanic/Latino Americans belong to a wide variety of cultures, the diversity of which is woven into the rich fabric of our society.
Did you know?
- In 1919, a first-of-its-kind Y serving Mexican- Americans was established in Miami, Arizona. Today, Y's across the U.S. serve Hispanic/Latino communities with culturally relevant programs and services.
- During the Great Depression, the YMCA of Los Angeles set up training and recreation programs for Mexican-American youth. Inspired by this effort, students at UCLA established the Mexican-American Movement, which helped Mexican immigrants transition into their new communities and advocated for improving their social conditions.
- The Y is committed to helping all people reach their potential. Y programs like Achievers help young people of color develop the confidence and skills to excel in school and beyond.
- There are YMCA's in 30 Latin American and Caribbean countries as well as Spain and Portugal. Y's in the U.S. often exchange ideas and resources with Y colleagues in these countries to better serve Hispanic/Latino communities across our nation.
To learn more about the Y’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, visit: