Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 is Hispanic and Latinx Heritage Month or “Mes de la Herencia Hispana!” The month celebrates the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens’ ancestors from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.
Instead of a traditional month of celebration lasting from the first to the last days of the month, Hispanic and Latinx Heritage Month starts on Sept. 15 because of the day’s significance. Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua all celebrate the anniversary of their independence on Sept. 15. Also falling within the month is Mexico’s Independence Day on Sept. 16, Chile’s Independence Day on Sept. 18, and Dia de la Raza on Oct. 12.
At Bellevue College, the Library Media Center has put together a virtual display to inform people about the month and celebrate it. The collection includes information about local community resources, as well as historical, artistic, educational and cultural resources. It also includes books and documentaries about Latinx experiences by Latinx authors.
Bellevue College’s own El Centro Latino and Latin American Culture Club is showcased in the virtual display. This student organization is open to Latinos and non-Latinos for the purposes of bringing attention to Latinx cultures and issues and creating a close-bonded community at Bellevue College. Contact them for more information about their organization and how to join!
One local community resource showcased on the virtual library display is the Washington State Commission on Hispanic Affairs. The commission’s goals are to identify and address the concerns of Washington’s Hispanic community, advise the governor and the legislature on matters that affect Hispanics, and build relationships. Their page on Mes de la Herencia Hispana includes information on the month’s history and key facts about Latinx and Hispanic representation in Washington counties and the community.
Another local resource is South Seattle Emerald, a platform working to amplify South Seattle’s narratives. The publication supports a variety of events for Hispanic and Latinx Heritage Month. First is the Mexam NW Festival’s upcoming music event on Oct. 15. Then, both online and at the Washington State Convention Center, the El Centro de la Raza’s 50th Anniversary fundraising gala is on Oct. 8. On Oct. 9, Mexam NW’s session on the Cedar River Salmon Journey is happening at the Renton Library. The 14th annual Seattle Latino Film Festival is happening from Oct. 7 to 15 at multiple cinemas throughout Seattle. Colombian musician Silvestre Dangond is performing at the Moore Theatre on Oct. 13. Finally, Mexam NW’s movie screening of “Oaxacalifornia: El Regreso” is showing at the Shoreline Community College Theater on Oct. 14.