National Hispanic Heritage Month runs from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15. Begun in 1968 as a week-long recognition of the contributions of people with roots in Spanish-speaking countries, it was expanded to a month in 1988 by President Ronald Reagan.
The starting date recognizes five Latin American countries that declared their independence on Sept. 15 and 16, 1821: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Mexico declared its independence on Sept. 16, 1810.
There are about 90,000 Hispanic people living in the St. Louis region, said St. Louis University demographer Onesimo Sandoval. He estimates that number could grow to about 160,000 by 2030.
The Hispanic residents of the region have roots in many countries, and the events and festivities taking place over the course of National Hispanic Heritage Month reflect that.
Here are a few:
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UMSL Hispanic Heritage Month Lecture Series
- Sept. 18, Immigration, Migration Stories, 1-2:30 p.m., Anheuser-Busch Hall, Room 103
- Sept. 25, The Politics of Citizenship, 1-2:30 p.m., Millennium Student Center Century, Room C
- Oct. 2, Business and Economics, 1-2:30 p.m., Anheuser-Busch Hall, Room 103
- Oct. 9, Mental Health in the Latino Community, 1-2:30 p.m., Millennium Student Center Century, Room C
In addition to the free lecture series, UMSL is hosting a range of other events. More details here.
Javier Mendoza in Concert
The Greater St. Louis Hispanic Festival
The festival takes place at Soulard Park near 7th Street and Lafayette Avenue next to the Soulard Market on Sept. 20-22. Admission is free.
The festival will feature folk dancers, over 70 booths and a “kids corner” with piñatas and traditional folk games and crafts such as molas and Mexican paper flowers. More details here.
Fiesta Flamenca Dinner and Flamenco Show
This St. Louis Flamenco Society event features guest artist Zaida González Portillo along with the company’s dancers. It takes place at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 21.
Adult tickets are $50, and tickets for children ages 5 to 14 are $25. The venue is St. Michael’s Temple Church at 6520 Arsenal St. in St. Louis. More details here.
Inspired by Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, this free event at the St. Louis County Library's Meramec branch will allow children ages 10-14 to create self-portraits using a variety of materials. Registration is required. It takes place from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Sept. 30.
Hispanic Heritage Night with St. Louis FC
St. Louis FC is partnering with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan St. Louis and St. Cecilia’s third and fourth grade girls soccer team to raise money for uniforms.
Tickets to the Oct. 5 match against Louisville City FC at World Wide Technology Soccer Park are $18. You can purchase your tickets here. If you use the code HISPANICNIGHT, portion of your tickets will go toward the team uniforms.
Related: Learn more about National Hispanic Heritage Month
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