If you still don’t know about Hispanic Heritage Month, now is your time to learn more about it. September 15 to October 15 is National Hispanic American Heritage Month. In Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C., the Latino and Hispanic population is so important, that there are plenty of events around the DMV celebrating this special month. However, do you know the true meaning of this occasion? Are you familiar with the Latino and Hispanic history throughout the United States, and more importantly, around the DMV area? Keep reading, and you will find out.
Every year in the United States, people with Hispanic backgrounds celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month. This special occasion goes from September 15th to October 15th. This celebration is to honor the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.
The event began in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson who, at the time said, “The people of Hispanic descent are the heirs of missionaries, captains, soldiers, and farmers who were motivated by a young spirit of adventure, and a desire to settle freely in a free land.”
It was later then expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15th and ending on October 15th. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988, on the approval of Public Law 100-402, by the U.S. Congress.
September 15th, specifically, is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for the following 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.
On another note, Columbus Day, also known as “Día de la Raza” or “Día de la Diversidad Cultural” in Spanish; falls within this 30 day period. Columbus Day is celebrated on October 12th. This special date recognizes the day when Christopher Columbus “discovered” America, which was back in 1492.
Based on recent reports, there is about 60.6 million Hispanics residing in the United States alone. Additionally, Latinos remain an important part of the nation’s overall demographic story. From 2010 to 2019, the Latino share of the total U.S. population increased from 16% to 18%. They also account more than half (52%) of all U.S. population growth over this period. Latinos are the country’s second largest racial or ethnic group, behind white non-Hispanics.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the state with the largest Hispanic population is California with 15.57 million (39.42%). Texas and New Mexico follows California for the largest Latin communities, with 11.52 million (38.75%) and 1.033 million (49.26% — biggest percentage of Latinos in the whole US —), respectively.
On another note, the District of Columbia is one of the fastest growing Latin American community in the United States with a 42% increase during the time period 2010-2019. In addition, Washington, D.C has a total of 11.26% population for the Hispanic community. The Latino community covers about 11% of the total population in Maryland. Next, Virginia has a 9.7% of Hispanic population, says Statista.
The Washington, D.C. area is currently the only metropolitan area in the country where Salvadorans are the majority among Latinos. Moreover, they are most concentrated in the suburbs in Northern Virginia and Maryland. In D.C., Salvadoran descents make up about 24.4% of the Latino community followed by Mexican descents (15.4%), and Puerto Rican descents (7.7%).
One of the most Latin-populated neighborhood in Washington, D.C. is Columbia Heights. Although it used to be a very underdeveloped area, Columbia Heights is now one of Washington, D.C.’s most economically diverse neighborhoods. The rebirth of this area that came with the inflow of Hispanics and other ethnicities has created a place with a mixture of high-priced apartment complexes, townhouses, public and middle-income housing.
As you can see, the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area has a large Hispanic population. Moreover, this community are fans on bringing everyone together to celebrate their Hispanic Heritage Month. Here are a couple of events that are happening within this 30-day period:
Here at Malloy Law Offices, LLC, we have a diverse corporate culture. Our largest ethnic group we have is Hispanics which is why Hispanic Heritage Month is very important to us. Our bilingual team helps each and every one of our clients get the best possible outcome for their personal injury cases. If you would like to learn more about our Latin American team at our firm, click here to watch one of our employee’s story.