Hispanic Heritage Month – Resources for the armchair learner


Though I have pretty much given up hope of mastering the Spanish language that only fuels my hope to learn much more about the heritage of my neighbors. Hispanic;Latino Heritage Month seems aa good time to focus on a huge gap in my knowledge. Hispanic Heritage Month, September 15-October 15 seem a good time to focus on a huge gap in my knowledge. Some of the resources I’ve found might prove useful to others whose formal education pre-dates modern times:

First of all, I have always been confused about the terms. Knowing more about the commemoration helps. September 15 is the first day of the celebration because it is the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries that declared their independence in 1821: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Mexico (September 16), Child (September 18) and Belize (formerly British Honduras (September 21).

In 1988 Congress passed a resolution calling on Americans, especially educators, to observe National Hispanic Heritage Month. President Johnson declared a week which was expanded by President Reagan to a month.

In our community signs of Hispanic Heritage Month are ubiquitous. Libraries and schools, universities, nonprofit agencies, the media, churches, health care providers and merchants will be taking note. My emphasis is on digital resources accessible to anyone planning programs or promotions – or to individuals who just want to learn.

As Hispanic Heritage nears, I have just begun to explore the possibilities for armchair learning. A quick overview is enough to get me excited the rich resources at my fingertips. The possibilities are endless as these rich resources offer an overwhelming wealth of possibilities:

For starts, the U.S. Census Bureau has tons of data that reflect the most recent stats on people of Hispanic heritage living in the U.S. http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/facts_for_features_special_editions/cb13-ff19.html

Increasingly the rare treasures of the Library of Congress are accessible online: http://hispanicheritagemonth.gov/index.html

The Minnesota Humanities Commission Voices from the Latino Community project offers close-to-home stories of Hispanic communities in Minnesota: http://www.minnesotahumanities.org/video/Clac.cfm

The Smithsonian Latino Center offers online access to a vast selection of digital resources. Resources include a virtual museum and a virtual gallery. http://latino.si.edu

The Hispanic Culture Online is a potpourri of everything from interviews to language lessons. http://www.hispanic-culture-online.com/#axzz2eKSOD5cz

This is the proverbial tip of a grand iceberg. There’s lots more to be listed but I’m eager to start the linking/learning adventure.