We celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15–October 15 as we honor the culture, contributions, and history of the Hispanic and Latino communities.

Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates the histories, cultures, and contributions of Americans with ancestral ties to the following countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guadalupe, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, Spain, Saint Barthélemy, Saint Martin, Uruguay, and Venezuela. 

Did you know there’s a difference between Latino and Hispanic? Someone defined as “Hispanic” has descended from a Spanish speaking country; someone defined as “Latino” has descended from a Latin American country. Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates both!  Many countries previously listed are considered both Hispanic and Latino, like Argentina, Ecuador, and Paraguay.

According to the 2019 Census, there are close to 61 million Americans who are considered Hispanic or Latino; that’s 18.5% of our total population. Chicago alone is inhabited by 750,000 Hispanics and Latinos, making up almost 30% of the city’s population.

And Hispanic Heritage Month is nothing new! The observance started as a week in 1968, and was expanded to a month in 1988. The date—September 15—is significant because it’s the anniversary of independence for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. 

During Hispanic Heritage Month, let’s be sure to take some time to honor, learn about, and acknowledge the many different members of our Hispanic and Latino communities! Some Willow staff sat down to talk share their experiences. Check out the clips below to hear the full conversation.