How to Celebrate National Latinx Heritage Month
Latinx Heritage Month (also known as Hispanic Heritage Month) celebrates Latinx cultures from the United States, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central and South America. In 1988, the U.S. turned the one-week celebration into a 30-day tribute to all the Spanish-speaking communities. Latinx Heritage Month is September 15 (which is a historical day for five Latin American countries that declared their independence from Spain) through October 15. Today, it’s a way to honor, support and learn about Latinx cultures, traditions and history. So, whether you’re cooking a traditional dish or supporting a small business, here are all the ways to celebrate Latinx Heritage Month this year.
1. Attend a local event
Events are happening all across the country to celebrate the holiday. Watch a drive-in movie of Coco in Santa Monica, check out an art exhibit by local artists in Orange Country or join a block party in New York City. At these gatherings, you’ll find food, music and activities for the whole family to enjoy. Make sure to check for events in your local area and join in on the fun all month long.
2. Host your own party
If there are no local events happening, consider hosting your own party. Latinx Heritage Month is all about celebrating with loved ones. Invite your family and friends over for a day of food, music and good company. Also may we suggest a friendly competition of dominoes, mar y tierra or lotería (aka a spin on classic bingo)?
3. Cook a traditional dish
What better way to honor your culture than by cooking a traditional meal? This is the best time to reach out to Abuela and finally learn about the secret family recipe. Or you can snag a classic recipe online like quesabrirra tacos from Mexico, congrí (aka rice and beans) from Cuba or even make homemade sazon right in your kitchen. But if cooking isn’t your forte, drop by or order from a Latinx-owned restaurant instead.
4. Make a refreshing drink
5. Support Latinx-owned businesses
There are plenty of Latinx-owned businesses out there and this month is a great way to try something new. Whether you’re looking to make a fashion statement, spruce up your home’s decor or become a plant parent, support and spend your coins on these brands.
6. Listen to Latinx artists
It’s no surprise music is a big contributor to Latinx culture. Salsa, reggaeton, bachata and merengue are just a few of the genres that started from these communities. These classic styles continue to be a staple in homes and parties while influencing the biggest stars we know and love today. Create a playlist featuring your favorite artists and enjoy the fusion of cultures coming together. Or listen to playlists like Latinx & Proud, Latinx Heritage Month (created by ACLU) and Voces (a mix of podcasts and songs from Afro-Latinx creators) straight from any streaming service.
7. Participate in a dance class
Now that you know the tunes, it's time to learn the moves. Take a beginner’s class and learn the steps of traditional Latinx dance. And if a class isn’t in your reach, learn how to salsa, bachata or tango with videos at home. It’s not about becoming a ballroom dancer (although you can definitely try) but just having fun and trying something new. Just watch, soon you’ll be showing off your dance skills at your cousin's wedding.
8. Watch Latinx TV shows and movies
If you’ve been meaning to stream a new TV show (like Jane The Virgin, Gentefied and One Day at a Time), movie (like Real Women Have Curves, Coco and Roma) or docuseries (from networks like PBS), make it one that has positive representation of the Latinx/Hispanic community. Or check out comedian John Leguizamo’s one-man Broadway show about 3,000 years of Latin history in under 90 minutes. The content out there is endless (and so are the snacks).
9. Check out a Latinx podcast
Once you finished your watchlist (and sung your heart out to Juan Gabriel), browse through a catalog of Latinx podcasts. You’ll find a variety of topics centered around race, identity, culture and everything in-between. Check out PureWow’s Por La Cultura, plus Latinos Who Lunch, Latinx Therapy, Anything For Selena, Latina to Latina and Super Mamás.
10. Visit an exhibit or museum dedicated to Latinx culture
Immerse yourself in Latinx art and culture at your local museum. If you’re lucky enough to live near El Museo del Barrio, Museum of Latin America Art, DePaul Art Museum, Mexi-Arte Museum, La Plaza de Cultura y Artes, Sea Mar Museum and National Hispanic Cultural Center or another museum geared towards highlighting Latinx voices and educating others on their history, now is your chance to check it out. There are also virtual exhibits and collections to view without leaving your couch.
11. Read books written by Latinx authors
Reading is always fundamental—whether you’re looking for a history lesson or want to dive into a fantasy world. Read books from celebrated authors like Gabriel García Márquez and Sandra Cisneros, or learn about a new author in the literary world, like Elizabeth Acevedo and Erika L. Sánchez. Browse your local Latinx-owned bookstore (or support them directly online).
12. Donate to organizations and charities
Spend the day helping Latinx communities. Whether it’s donating, protesting or raising awareness, familiarize yourself with organizations and charities focusing on Latinx rights. Learn more about non-profits like Hispanic Heritage Foundation, United We Dream, Unidos US and RAICES which are fighting racism, discrimination and xenophobia. Use your voice to amplify Latinx creators, activists and programs striving to keep Latinx issues and projects at the forefront. We recommend checking out Ain’t I Latina?, We All Grow Latina and The Latinx House to get you started.