Resources for Hispanic Heritage Month

Photo, IMCOM HQ Hispanic American Heritage Observance, Oct. 13, 2011, Flickr
Mon 17 2012

Established in 1988, Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates the history of Americans with family roots in Spanish-speaking countries. Unlike other heritage months, which begin at the beginning of a month and end at the end, Hispanic American Heritage Month begins on September 15 and ends on October 15. Why? Use this question to kick off your exploration of the month, and deepen it with resources from and elsewhere!

Begin tracing back the rich strands of Hispanic American history with's materials, including a roundup of resources across the Web, a lesson plan on civil rights and agricultural workers in the U.S., and reviews of websites preserving the experiences of Hispanic Americans. Take a quiz that "zooms in" on primary sources, or read what historians have to say about historical U.S.-Mexico relations in Ask a Historian.

Go further afield with materials from across the web. Check out these dedicated Hispanic Heritage Month pages:

  • Smithsonian Education rounds up more than 20 educator resources and Smithsonian Magazine articles.
  • The Library of Congress guides visitors to relevant exhibits, collections, images, and audiovisual materials.
  • The U.S. Army chronicles the service of Hispanic Americans with an interactive timeline and biographical profiles.
  • The White House archives Hispanic Heritage Month presidential proclamations.
  • The National Park System catalogs details on more than 40 historical sites, monuments, and memorials related to Hispanic American history and features nine related Teaching with Historic Places lesson plans.
  • EDSITEment pulls together five lesson plans, 10 featured websites, recommendations for bilingual resources, and a virtual field trip.
  • Publisher Scholastic invites students to explore their own heritage, meet famous present-day and historical Latinos, and more with its interactive "Celebrate Hispanic Heritage" feature.
  • The U.S. Census Bureau displays statistics related to Hispanic American heritage.
  • gives you a peek into the lives of Hispanic American artists, political figures, and more.

(So why does Hispanic Heritage Month start on September 15? The day marks the anniversary of the independence of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Once part of the Captaincy General of Guatemala, these nations formed the United Provinces of Central America after becoming independent from both Mexico and Spain in 1821.)

About the Author

Lara Harmon is a Senior Research Associate for She received her BA from George Mason University.