Latino Heritage Month, September 15 through October 15, celebrates the cultures and honors the contributions of all who have origins in Mexico, Central America, South America, Puerto Rico, Cuba, and other parts of the Caribbean. For Latinos who call this country home, roots may stretch back generations or could be much more recent.
The date is a nod to independence throughout the region. September 15 marks independence in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Independence Day in Mexico is celebrated on September 16, and on September18 in Chile.
This commemoration started as a week-long event in 1968, after a Los Angeles congressman, U.S. Rep. Edward R. Roybal introduced the legislation. In 1998, U.S. Rep. Esteban Torres, another congressman from Southern California, sponsored a bill to expand it to a month.
The 2020 theme is “A History of Serving Our Nation.” At the age of 16, Peter Francisco joined the American Revolution. Nicknamed, “Hercules of the Revolution” because of his size and bravery, he heroically fought the British. In fact, George Washington referred to him as a “one-man Army.” An estimated 9,000 Mexican-Americans fought in the Civil War. Since then, Latinos have continued to serve with distinction in all branches of the U.S. military.
Today, 73 percent Los Angeles Unified students identify as Latino. Some students will share their favorite Latino hero on our social media channels this month. Learn more about Latinos by checking out “Did You Know?” posts on Twitter and Facebook.