Celebrating Diversity: National Hispanic Heritage Month

We’re proud to celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month! National Hispanic Heritage Month, which is observed from September 15 to October 15, uplifts the histories, cultures and contributions of Hispanic-Latinos in the United States. 

At the Y, one of the ways we celebrate is through gatherings hosted by staff in our YMCA Early Learning Readiness (ELR) program, a nontraditional, mobile preschool program focused on serving the Hispanic community and empowering caregivers to be a child’s first teacher.

This year, we invited families from the program to visit their local YMCA branches for tours, dance classes and gardening as part of our Welcoming Week initiative. At our ELR mobile sites, families from various Spanish-speaking countries also celebrated with festive music, food and fun while showcasing visuals representing their cultural heritage and backgrounds. 

“The best part was the comradeship between the families, the staff and the children at this great event,” said Yeni Garcia-Villegas, Director of Early Learning Readiness Program. 

According to hispanicheritagemonth.gov, the observation of National Hispanic Heritage Month 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. September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Mexico and Chile also celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September 18, respectively. 

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Y recognizes and celebrates all staff, volunteers and supporters of Hispanic heritage who make a difference in our YMCA and beyond.

Learn more about our YMCA Early Learning programs.

By Erica K. Faulkner
Director of Content and Social Media