Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month September 15-October 15

What is 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 September18, respectively. Also, Columbus Day or Día de la Raza, which is October 12, falls within this 30 day period.

Source: Library of Congress

Who are Indigenous Peoples?

Called Tribal Peoples, First Peoples, Native Peoples, Indigenous Peoples constitute about 5% of the world's population, yet account for about 15% of the world's poor. There are approximately 370 million Indigenous people in the world, belonging to 5,000 different groups, in 90 countries worldwide. Indigenous people live in every region of the world, but about 70% of them live in Asia.
There is no universally accepted definition for "Indigenous," though there are characteristics that tend to be common among Indigenous Peoples:

  • They tend to have small populations relative to the dominant culture of their country. However, in Bolivia and Guatemala Indigenous people make up more than half the population.

  • They usually have (or had) their own language. Today, Indigenous people speak some 4,000 languages.

  • They have distinctive cultural traditions that are still practiced.

  • They have (or had) their own land and territory, to which they are tied in myriad ways.
  • They self-identify as Indigenous.

  • Examples of Indigenous Peoples include the Inuit of the Arctic, Native Americans, hunter-gatherers in the Amazon, traditional pastoralists like the Maasai in East Africa, and tribal peoples in the Philippines.


Indigenous Mexicans Who Live in California

An estimated 165,000 indigenous Mexicans reside in California. In Mexico, the state of Oaxaca is the source for more than 80% of the indigenous who work in California agriculture, followed by Guerrero which accounts for about 10%.  Other important sending states include Puebla and Michoacan.  A very small number  come from the states of Chiapas, Hidalgo, Veracruz, Mexico, Morelos, Nayarit, Yucatan and Quintana Roo.

Source: Indigenous Farmworker Study -- View Full Report


Fresno State's Club Austral
Revista Literaria Austral will present the Chilean film "Todos Somos Huachos" by Alejandro Fernandez Almendras at 6 p.m.
Contact for more information

Guelaguetza California 2012
Sunday, September 30
Roosevelt High Auditorium
4250 E. Tulare Avenue
(559) 499-1178

CBDIO-Centro Binacional para el Desarrollo Indigena Oaxaqueno

Fresno International Film Festival
Sept 18th to 22nd, 2012
California State University, Fresno
Download Flier

CineCulture Fall Film Lineup
September 21-"A Better Life"
October 5- "Mexican Suitcase"
Fresno State
(559) 278-5702

The musical performance and workshop "Sustaining the Note, The Folk and Lore. Quijeremá's Al Son Del Tunduki" by the Fresno State Department of Music - Oct. 3, noon-1:30 p.m. at the Wahlberg Recital Hall in the Music Building. 8 p.m. Music Building.

Nights In The Plaza Concerts
Friday, September 14 
Una Fiesta Mexicana

Friday, September 21 
Trio Los Vigilantes

Friday, September 28 
Plaza Finale-Noche Tropical!

Arte Americas
1630 Van Ness
Downtown Fresno
(559) 266-2623

Gary Soto and Fresno
Folkloric Dancers
Saturday, October 6
1 - 3 pm
Petunia's Place
6027 N. Palm Avenue
(559) 438-1561

Soto has written books for all ages, primary thru high school. His newest book, Lucky Luis, is about little leaguer Luis who plays like a champ and learns that winning baseball is about practice and listening to your coach.

The film "Miss Representation" will be shown on Oct. 10 at 6pm , Henry Madden Library, Room 2206. The film will be hosted by Entre Mujeres and the Center for Women and Culture and Hispanas Organized for Political Equality. For more information, contact the Central Valley Cultural Heritage Institute at (559)278-6946