By: Juana Bordas

Why Does Hispanic Heritage Month start on September 15th?

Latinos come from 22 countries and are a bridge to our global village. Today people can have multiple identities and relish many cultures. Latinos are leading the way. They start their heritage celebration the same week that Mexico, Costa Rica,  El Salvador, Honduras, Chile, Guatemala,  Nicaragua, and Belize celebrate their independence.

Hispanic History begins before the US was a Nation.

Fully one-third of territorial US was Mexico until 1848. This is reflected in our states, such as Colorado, Arizona, and Montana; and in cities like Los Angeles, San Antonio, and Las Vegas. Hispanics were the first ranchers, farmers & miners. They built schools, plazas, churches and community spaces before white settlers came to the Southwest.

Latinos are our past, but they are also our future.

Latinos have the highest job market participation; are the fastest growing small business sector; and in 2015, their buying power was $1.3 trillion, larger than the Gross Domestic Product of Australia or Spain. This influence will continue one-third of Latinos are under 18, as are 20% of Millennials. Young Latinos will ensure that Hispanic culture will continue enriching America.

So Let’s begin the Celebration: 4 ways to Go for the Gusto!

1. OK This is easy: Experience Hispanic Heritage by ENJOYING some Latino Food. Salsa, Guac, Tortillas, Margaritas, Paella, Nachos, Fried Platanos, Arroz y Frijoles, Flan, or Enchiladas!

Yes, Mexican Food is America’s favorite cuisine. So this Hispanic Heritage month enjoy TACO TUESDAYS


2. PRACTICE GENEROSITY: Generosity is evident in the “golden rule” of Hispanic culture – Mi Casa es su Casa!”

This Hispanic Heritage Month Practice GENEROSITY! Pick up the tab at lunch, give away something you value because someone would enjoy it, offer to do something special at home (cook dinner, clean the frig, take dog out), be generous with your praise and recognition, share your dessert, visit a friend who needs company!

3. Have a FIESTA invite friends over to celebrate –

This is a special year for Latinos – it’s our 40th BIRTHDAY! Hispanics weren’t officially recognized until The Office of Management and Budget Directive in 1977 added Hispanic to the US Census. So as Pitbull urges “Don’t Stop the Party.” Celebrate this dyanamic, generous, hardworking and festive culture!

4. Embrace your own Heritage. This Month reflect on your own background, learn more about it and reach out to other cultures you want to experience.

Latino Identity is Multifaceted –
Juana Bordas is Nicaraguan by birth. Her ancestry is Indigenous, French, and Spanish. She is Mexican by culture and a served in the Peace Corps in Chile. So she is Chilean by corazón or heart. She is a proud American. “Complexity and diversity are at the heart of Latino identity and we embrace it!”

Juana is the author of two award-winning books:
The Power of Latino Leadership and Salsa, Soul and Spirit: Leadership for a Multicultural Age. Visit her website