This post is also available in: Spanish
From September 15th to October 15th, many public and private entities celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month. 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. Why is this period chosen? September 15th is the day that 5 Central American countries- Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua- celebrate their Independence from Spain. Mexico celebrates its Independence the next day, on September 16th, and Chile’s is on September 18th (a springtime holiday for this country south of the equator).
In addition to being a month to celebrate achievements by Hispanics in the arts, sports, business and politics, Hispanic Heritage Month is a chance for marketers to cash in. Kmart ManualSitemap has launched a Latina scholarship fund in recognition of National Hispanic Heritage Month. Macy’s is celebrating the month with special events, internships and a model search. Smart companies have found ways to use the pleasant weeks of early autumn to attract Hispanic consumers while celebrating their heritage.