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Research Guides

National Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month

Campus Resources

Diversity Program Coordinator


National Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month (September 15 to October 15) celebrates the histories, cultures, and contributions of Americans whose ancestors come from Mexico, the Caribbean, Spain, and Central and South America. We also pay tribute to the countries celebrating their independence in September. 




"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 public laws that designated a week and then a month for National Hispanic Heritage are available in the United States Statutes at Large which is widely available through federal depository libraries.

Pub. L. 90-498, 82 Stat. 848 (PDF, 153 KB): A House joint resolution authorizing the President to proclaim annually the week including September 15 and 16 as National Hispanic Heritage Week.

Pub. L. 100-402, 102 Stat. 1012 (PDF, 58 KB): To amend Pub. L. 90-498 to provide for the designation of National Hispanic Heritage Month.

‚ÄčThese laws are codified in the United States Code at 36 U.S.C. 126." [Provided courtesy of the Paradise Valley Community College Library]



For the purpose of this resource guide, we have used the terms Latinx and Hispanic. However, we recognize that there are individuals who may use other terms to self-identify. 


Someone who is native of, or descends from, Mexico and who lives in the United States.

Chicano or Chicana is a chosen identity of some Mexican Americans in the United States. The term became widely used during the Chicano Movement of the 1960s by many Mexican Americans to express a political stance founded on pride in a shared cultural, ethnic, and community identity.


Someone who is native of, or descends from, a Latin American country.

The term Latino/Latina includes people from Brazil and excludes those who were born in or descended from Spain. Not all Brazilians identify themselves as Latino/Latina, but many do. Thus, Hispanic refers more to language, while Latino/Latina refers more to culture.


Someone who is a native of, or descends from, a Spanish-speaking country.

The term hispano/hispana (Hispanic) wasn’t invented in the United States; it’s a Spanish word that means “belonging or relating to Hispania, Spain,” and “belonging or relating to Hispanoamérica (countries in the Americas where Spanish is spoken).” Hispanic came in use officially in the United States in the early 1970s during the Richard Nixon presidency. The U.S. government decided to adopt Hispanic to have a universal term that could serve to include all Spanish-speaking groups in the United States. Typically, a person born in or who descends from Spain is referred to as Spanish or a Spaniard.


A gender-neutral term to refer to a Latino/Latina person.

The “x” replaces the male and female endings “o” and “a” that are part of Spanish grammar conventions. This term comes from American-born Latinos/Latinas who want to be more inclusive and gender neutral, which is more akin to the English language." [Source]


The term Latine "is a gender-neutral form of the word Latino, created by LGBTQIA+, gender non-binary, and feminist communities in Spanish speaking countries. The objective of the term Latine is to remove gender from the Spanish word Latino, by replacing it with the gender-neutral Spanish letter E." [Source]





9 July 1816 (from Spain)


21 September 1981 (from UK)


6 August 1825 (from Spain)


7 September 1822 (from Portugal)


18 September 1810 (from Spain)


20 July 1810 (from Spain)

Costa Rica

15 September 1821 (from Spain)


20 May 1902 (from Spain 10 December 1898; administered by the US from 1898 to 1902)

Dominican Republic 

27 February 1844 (from Haiti)


10 August, 1809 (from Spain)

El Salvador

15 September 1821 (from Spain)


15 September 1821 (from Spain)


15 September 1821 (from Spain)


16 September 1810 (from Spain)


15 September 1821 (from Spain)


3 November 1903 (from Colombia; became independent from Spain 28 November 1821)


14 May 1811 (from Spain)


28 July 1821 (from Spain)

Puerto Rico

none (territory of the US with commonwealth status)


25 August 1825 (from Brazil)


5 July 1811 (from Spain)