The observation of National Hispanic Heritage Month started in 1968 and was expanded into an entire month by President Ronald Reagan in 1988. This time was set aside to recognize the contributions made and the important presence of Latinos to the United States and to celebrate their heritage and culture. The words “Latino” and “Hispanic” refer to a person of Latin-American origin living in the United States. The words Latino and Hispanic describe a person’s ethnicity rather than his/her race.
There are multiple generations of Latino families in the United States. Every family is different, but even those who have lived in the United States for numerous decades still enjoy celebrating their heritage.
Hispanic Heritage Month runs from September 15 – October 15 because it bookends the independence days of the five Central American nations: Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Costa Rica, Mexico on Sept. 16 and Chile, Sept. 18 as well as Columbus Day which is also referred to “Día de la Raza” in Latin America.
Interesting Facts from the US Census
In 2013, Latinos constituted 17 percent of the nation’s total population. 1.1 million Hispanics have been added to the nation’s population between July 1, 2012, and July 1, 2013. This number is close to half of the approximately 2.3 million people added to the nation’s population during this period. According to the US Census, Latinos are the largest minority group in 22 states, Kansas being one of them. It is projected that by 2030, 1 in 3 girls will be Hispanic (State of Girls).
Girl Scouts and the Hispanic Community
Out of the 23,095 girls that Girl Scouts of NE Kansas & NW Missouri served in 2014, 1,614 were Latina. Additionally, 225 Hispanic adults volunteered in our council in 2014. Girl Scouts of NE Kansas & NW Missouri is working hard to engage and support more Latino adults who will empower Latina girls to invent their dreams through Girl Scouting.
We are recruiting bilingual volunteers to be troop leaders or assist at events and recruitment fairs. Additionally, we are developing collaborations with schools and organizations that predominantly serve our Latino community in order to start Girl Scout troops. If you are interested or know someone who is, please contact Lisa Peña firstname.lastname@example.org or 913-759-3113.
Check out these fun ideas to integrate Hispanic Heritage Month into your troop activities!