8 Ways to Get Involved During Hispanic Heritage Month


Did you know that Girl Scouts of the USA’s current CEO, Anna Maria Chávez, is the first Latina CEO in Girl Scouts’ history? We want to honor female leaders who come from all different backgrounds and today we’re celebrating the start of National Hispanic Heritage Month.

This month of celebration runs from September 15 – October 15, 2015, during which many events around our council are aimed to highlight Latino culture. We are excited to bring you eight awesome things to do during Hispanic Heritage Month! There is just so much to choose from! So get out and enjoy a month of great culture, food, art and music.


1 Olathe Hispanic Heritage Graphic1. Attend an Olathe Hispanic Heritage Month Event

Dates: September 15 – October 15, 2015
Cost: Free
Location: Olathe, Kan. – Various locations

The Olathe Latino Coalition Hispanic Heritage Month is featuring several events designed with Girl Scouts in mind! Troops can earn badges at some events and experience a multitude of activities with a wide range of event types (author chats, festivals, crafts and concerts). Whether you’re making American Girl Memory Boxes at the Olathe Downtown Library or visiting Wild West Days at the Heritage Center, these events are suitable for the whole family and aimed to educate and entertain.


MRC_Logo_-_Color_400x4002. Schedule an Art Activity at Mattie Rhodes Art Center

Dates: Call to schedule (Mornings, Tues – Sat)
Cost: $5-$15, depending on activity
Location: 919 W. 17th St., Kansas City, Mo. 64108
Best for: Brownies

If you’re excited about visuals arts – this is a great opportunity to learn about Latino culture while creating something beautiful. For Troops, themed events give girls an educational introduction followed by the hands on experience of creating art through a variety of mediums including sewing, painting and collage. This event is great for Troops working on A World of Girls (Journey designed for Brownies), but is suitable for all grade levels.


3 Dia de los Muertos Festival3. Attend the Topeka Dia de los Muertos (Topeka Day of the Dead) Festival

Dates: October 2 – November 1, 2015
Cost: Free for most events, some require a ticket purchase
Location: Topeka, Kan. – Various locations
Best for: Cadettes and Above

Whether you’re making a traditional “Nicho” (memory box) from vintage items, creating colorful Dia de los Muertos Calaver masks or attending a street fair, joining in on this Latino celebration is a great way to learn about the culture. This festival spans almost a month and offers a range of Latino focused events – especially surrounding Latino art (we’re excited about the children’s Frida Kahlo & Diego Rivera costume contest). See the complete schedule for all the events.  *Due to the nature of Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), please carefully read the event descriptions and learn about the holiday before taking little ones to make sure everyone has a great time.


4 Drawing Contest4. Enter a Drawing Contest and Create a Work of Art About Mexico

Deadline for Entry: September 21, 2015
Cost: No entry fee, participant provides supplies for piece and postage costs
Location: Nearest Mexican Embassy or Consulate
(Kansas City: 1617 Baltimore Ave., Kansas City, Mo. 64108)

Have you and your family ever travelled to Mexico? Whether you’ve been several times or only travelled through photos to this beautiful country, the Drawing Contest through the Institute for Mexicans Abroad is a great opportunity for children to create a piece of art about Mexico! The contest is called “Éste es mi México” (“This is my Mexico”) and is free to enter. All participates receive a diploma and winners receive a package of Mexican children’s books, a diploma and a surprise gift. Visit the link below for all the rules before starting the work of art.


mic-crowd5. Invite a Hispanic Guest Speaker to Talk to The Troop

Giving Girl Scouts the opportunity to ask questions is a great way to introduce them to a new culture. Invite a guest speaker to give a talk at a troop meeting and maybe even lead a group activity from their country. Suggest to the speaker that they discuss where they’re from, what the experience coming to the US was like and what their childhood was like. If you’re a troop leader and stuck on where to find a speaker, please contact Lisa Peña, Manager of our Hispanic Initiative at lpena@gsksmo.org.


6. Learn Through Food – Visit a Latin Grocery Store or Ice Cream Shop

Everyone loves a yummy treat and this event can be done year round. Let the troop research a recipe with Hispanic origin and plan an activity where they visit a Latin grocery store to gather ingredients, then work together in the kitchen to create a new and delicious meal. You can also stick to just exploring and take them on an ice cream outing to a Latin ice cream shop. We included some quick suggestions in Manhattan and Kansas City, but feel free to find a store that’s close to you.


mcfarland-usa-DVD-Cover7. Check Out Events at Local Universities or Colleges – Missouri Western (North Region)

Dates: September 23 & 30, 2015; Varies
Cost: Free, RSVP may be required
Location: Missouri Western State University (Room: BLUM 223)

Local universities and colleges frequently host free or low-cost events for students – including cultural heritage events. For the North Region, Missouri Western State University has two great options this month. In September, you can catch a screening of “McFarland, USA,” which follows the story of a California high school track coach and his team of predominately Latino students who work together to become champions. They’re also featuring New York raised, Dominican poet Elizabeth Acevedo at a Hispanic Heritage banquet on September 30 (RSVP required by Sept 25). This is just one option, but there are probably events at a university or college near you.


LaPlacita8. Enjoy a Saturday in a Hispanic Market

Dates: September 26 & October 4, 2015 (11 a.m. – 3 p.m.) – weather permitting
Cost: Free to enter, bring money for food or keepsakes
Location: Bethany Park (1120 Central Ave., Kansas City, Kan., 66102)

Enjoy the outdoors and experience Latino culture at La Placita Central Avenue Market. Have everyone bring $5 and get lunch at this open air market. It’s a great opportunity to enjoy the beautiful fall weather, talk to local artists and listen to live music.

We are excited to hear your experiences at these events from around the council region! If we missed an event you think is great to share, comment below with details on the event and why you think it’s a must see!

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