Celebrate Hispanic & Latino Heritage Month – Sept. 15th to Oct. 15th, 2021 – with learning and cultural opportunities.
Hispanic & Latino Heritage Month celebrates the histories, cultures and contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans past and present. While it’s a monthlong celebration, it notably crosses over two calendar months – running Sept. 15th to Oct. 15th – coinciding with the Independence Day celebrations of Belize, Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and Nicaragua.
This month of cultural recognition is a time for Americans who identify as Latino or Hispanic to celebrate and share their traditions. About a quarter of all Boys & Girls Club members identify as Latino or Hispanic and find inclusive spaces at their Club to celebrate their identities and cultures.
But even if your family doesn’t hail from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central or South America, you can still participate in the month by engaging in learning and cultural experiences that bring you a little closer to these countries. Sharing other people’s cultures with your kids helps build their respect and curiosity, in addition to helping them understand the vastness of the world we live in.
Here are some ideas to kick off Hispanic & Latino Heritage Month celebrations with the young people in your life:
Cook a Latin American classic. From pull-apart arepas filled with savory ingredients to learning the Spanish word for meatball – albóndiga – before digging into one, your young chef can try out Latin American flavors in the kitchen.
Try your hand at a new game. If your kid enjoys a game of chance, then odds are they’ll enjoy the card game Lotería. Mexico’s version of Bingo, Lotería has a caller pull cards from a shuffled deck and players must match the item called (such as el arbol – the tree, or el camaron – the shrimp) with what’s on their game board. When they’ve got a row, the winner shouts “¡Buena!” to end the game.
Read books by Hispanic and Latino authors. Whatever the age of your reader, there are plenty of books to explore by Hispanic and Latino authors. For young readers, try “Where Are You From?” by Yamile Saied Méndez, which tells the story of a girl who constantly gets asked where she is from, and the insight her grandfather shares about her identity.
Dedicate a movie night. Kid-friendly movies that explore Hispanic and Latino culture are perfect movie night. Try “Coco,” the 2017 animated film inspired by the Mexican holiday Day of the Dead, or check out these other kid-friendly movie options.
Hit the dance floor. If your kid considers every room a dance floor, it’s time to introduce them to the vibrancy of Latino dance styles. They might enjoy learning the basic steps of salsa dancing or mimicking these fun, Spanglish-taught cumbia moves to add some new moves to their repertoire.
Celebrating Hispanic & Latino Heritage Month with the young people in your life is a great way to learn about other people’s cultures and customs. Read more about how exploring cultures helps young people respect and value diversity.