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National Hispanic Heritage Month takes place from September 15th through October 15th

Sep 10, 2016 09:45PM ● By Paul Spear

Hispanic Heritage Month began on September 15th, 1968. On that day each year, we celebrate the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16th and September 18th, respectively.

The Latino community's impact on California's history can be seen in landmarks throughout the state, and with San Diego's proximity to Mexico, it's no surprise to see the Hispanic influence on our city and its character, including in Balboa Park, at Mission San Diego de Alcalá, and in the murals of Chicano Park, just to name a few.

If you're in the mood for authentic mariachi music, tequila, and traditional Latin-American food, here are some free and low cost ways that San Diego is celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month:

Arte Color y Fiesta Event
To mark Mexican Independence Day, the House of Mexico invites the public to come to Balboa Park for this free celebration, including music and dancing. Those who attend are encouraged to pack a picnic for the occasion.
Where: Spreckels Organ Pavilion, Balboa Park
When:  Friday, September 16th, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Fiestas Patrias Celebration
To begin the festivities, the ringing of the bell in the historic Casa de Estudillo will signify Mexico's Independence. The Fiestas Patrias Celebration will include traditional dances, mariachi music, crafts, games, and a piñata for the children.
Where: Old Town State Historic Park (San Diego Avenue and Twiggs Street).
When: Saturday, September 17th, Noon to 4 p.m.

House of Pacific Relations International Cottages Lawn Program
Each week, the program spotlights a different international culture near the park's historic 1935 Exposition cottages. The celebrations include educational and cultural programs and showcase the special traditions from many countries. This week it will be Mexico.
Where: House of Pacific Relations Cottages, Balboa Park
When: Sunday, September 18th, 2 to 3 p.m.

Buena Vista Sundays Featuring Live Cuban Music
Every Sunday, Café Sevilla will host live Cuban music by Son Antillano, led by Charlie Chavez. Enjoy music featuring traditional Cuban instruments like the tres guitar, baby bass, congas, and flue. Also enjoy tasting Café Sevilla's unique and delicious Cuban food menu.
Where: Cafe Sevilla (353 Fifth Ave., Downtown)
When: Every Sunday, beginning September 18th, 3 to 6 p.m.

About National Hispanic Heritage Month

Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.

The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988, on the approval of Public Law 100-402.

The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September 18, respectively. Also, Columbus Day or Día de la Raza, which is October 12, falls within this 30 day period.

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Paul Spear, Editor,


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