Once every year, the nation celebrates the past and present contributions of U.S. Hispanics during Hispanic Heritage Month.
The occasion was originally authorized by Congress in 1968 as National Hispanic Heritage Week, which encompassed September 16, Mexico's Independence Day. In 1988 the designation was expanded to a month beginning every September 15, which marks the anniversary of independence of five Central American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. In addition, Chile marks the anniversary of its independence on September 18.
As U.S. Hispanics today number more than 40 million and account for 13.5 percent of the population, the recognition of their culture and achievements is more important than ever. Municipal agencies, arts organizations, and schools around the country celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. The calendar below highlights the largest national events.
September 12 – 13 The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) will hold its 2005 Issues Conference at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. This year's topic will be public policy. As part of the two-day conference, CHCI invites respected Hispanic leaders to address conference participants during a keynote lunch held each day. For more information, contact CHCI at (202) 543-1771 or visit www.chci.org
September 14 "Celebra la Ciencia" (Celebrate Science) will take place at the New Mexico State Fair. Local museums and educational institutions will explain science through performances, exhibits, and demonstrations. For information, contact the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science at (505) 841-2857 or visit www.celebralaciencia.org
September 14 The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute's 28th Annual Gala will be held at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. During the evening's festivities CHCI bestows its Medallion of Excellence for Community Service and its Medallion of Excellence for Leadership to deserving leaders. The awards honor Hispanic individuals who have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to empowering the Hispanic community. For more information, contact CHCI at (202) 543-1771 or visit www.chci.org
September 14 – 17 The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce will hold its 26th Annual National Convention & Business Expo in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. More than 200 exhibitors will be available during the expo at the Midwest Airlines Convention Center. For more information, call (202) 842-1212 or visit www.ushcc.com
September 15 – October 15 The Smithsonian Institution celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month with special programs, lectures, and musical events. An array of U.S. and foreign films will be screened as part of the National Latino Film Festival. For information, call (202) 357-2700.
September 17 The 15th Annual Las Vegas International Mariachi Festival returns to the Thomas & Mack Center. Celebrating Mexico's independence, the festival features Cristian Castro and Aida Cuevas along with the bands Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán and Mariachi Sol de Mexico de José Hernández. For information, call (480) 558-1122 or visit www.eliasentertainment.com
September 22 – October 8 The CineSol Latin Film Festival showcases the best of Hispanic film in a traveling two-week festival through South Texas, which begins in Brownsville. For more information, visit www.cinesol.com or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
September 24 The 17th Annual Latin Fever Ball continues its tradition as the premier social Hispanic celebration in Georgia. This black-tie event, held at the Grand Hyatt Buckhead in Atlanta, raises funds so the Latin American Association can provide transitional services for Hispanics as they strive for self-sufficiency. The evening features a formal dinner, silent auction, and dancing. For information call (404) 638-1815 or visit www.latinamericanassoc.org
October 7 The Hispanic Heritage Council will host its annual gala ball at the Hotel Intercontinental in Miami. The prestigious "Don Quixote Award" will be presented during the dinner. Other events include the Young Hispanic Leadership Awards on September 22, Discovery of America Day on October 9, the Legacy of Excellence Awards on October 13, and the Hispanic Heritage Golf Classic on October 20. For information, contact the council at (305) 461-1014 or visit www.hispanicfestival.com
October 14 – 15 The Latin Business Association stages its National Latino Business Expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center. The largest Hispanic business-to-business exchange in the United States allows entrepreneurs to reach 7,000 decision makers from across the nation and Latin America. The expo features procurement opportunities, workshops, seminars, and a loan pavilion. For information call (213) 628-8510 or visit www.LBAusa.com
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