To celebrate the unique contributions Hispanic Americans have made in U.S. history and culture, the United States observes National Hispanic Heritage Month every year from September 15 through October 15. Since 1968, the United States has honored the important role of Americans whose ancestors hailed from Spain, Mexico and the Spanish-speaking nations of Central America, South America and the Caribbean.
In Washington, the Smithsonian Institution organizes a number of events to showcase Hispanic achievement, culture and history. To begin the festivities, the National Museum of American History hosted Central American Traditions September 15. This family-oriented festival is the Smithsonian’s signature event and featured everything from Latin rock shows and dance performances to food demonstrations and weaving tutorials.
Above, costumed dancers participate in the National Zoo’s Fiesta Musical, which highlighted Hispanic and Latino music. Over at the American Art Museum, patrons can take the Latino Art Walk-In Tour that examines Hispanic-American culture through the museum’s Latino art collection. And visitors to the Natural History Museum can attend lectures such as Lessons from the Chilean Mine Rescue.
To learn more ways Hispanic Americans have enriched U.S. culture, check out the Smithsonian Institution’s Hispanic Heritage Cultural Tour.