At Sound, we are honoring Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15. Hispanic/Latinx leaders have made and continue to make a significant impact on our society in a myriad of ways. Our DEJI (Diversity, Equity, Justice & Inclusion) program will spotlight these individuals and organizations through articles on e3, SharePoint, and social media. In addition, the DEJI program is asking for names of Hispanic’Latinx individuals who have made valuable contributions to the country’s history. We spotlight them as well. Please write us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is Hispanic Heritage Month?
National Hispanic Heritage Month began in 1968 after U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson issued the official presidential proclamation. September 15 has added significance and is linked to the Independence Day celebrations of five Central American nations—Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Mexico also celebrates its independence from Spain on September 16, 1810.
In 2021, due to COVID-related restrictions, celebrations and educational programs continue to be mostly confined to being held online. In addition, there are several nationally televised programs and presentations presented on the internet.
Pacific Northwest History
In 1774, Spanish and Mexican explorers began making expeditions to the Pacific Northwest. East of the Cascade Mountains, Mexican vaqueros, (cowboys,) helped develop cattle ranching in the 19th century, and Mexican farmworkers established a vibrant presence that still exists today. Many Latino families migrated to the Puget Sound region after World War II in search of a better quality of life and to find employment. In the 1970s, political upheaval and civil unrest in Central and South America spawned an influx of immigrants to Seattle from Guatemala, El Salvador, Chile, Nicaragua, and other countries. Today, many locations are named to commemorate the history of immigration, including the San Juan Islands, Port Angeles, Fidalgo Island, Camano Island, and the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
Community Organizations Step Up to Help
Today, there are several area nonprofits and agencies that serve the Latino-Hispanic communities in a multitude of ways. They provide, among other things, important health services, educational opportunities, and legal assistance. They are also responsible for fueling various arts programs that educate and entertain the public.
El Centro de la Raza
Founded in 1972, this organization’s community center provides multi-ethnic social services, educational and cultural programs.
The Latino Community Fund
The Latino Community Fund supports cultural and community-based non-profit organizations and provides access to health care and environmental justice education. LCF also creates awareness through its Healthy Families Initiative and sponsors programs that provide legal aid, counseling, health, children, and youth programs.
Casa Latina works with immigrant communities through programs that facilitate economic independence. The organization offers job training and worker’s rights workshops.
Television and Radio Programs