Hispanic Heritage Month

¡Feliz Mes de la Herencia Hispana! Happy Hispanic Heritage Month! Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated between September 15 to October 15. During the Month, Americans celebrate those whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central, and South America or the Latinx community. The dates of the month-long celebration are significant in that Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua all celebrate their Independence Day on September 15. Followed by Mexico’s Independence Day on the 16th and Chile’s on the 18th. Día de la Raza, or Native American Day, also falls within this period on October 12th.

Upcoming Events

September 15 at 6:00pm

Story Time with Chief Albright
Meet Leticia Ordaz, author of "The Adventures of Mr. Macaw"
District56, 8230 Civic Center Drive (outdoor stage area)

September 16 at 4:00pm-8:00pm

NeighborGood Market
City booth, giveaways and entertainment
The Avenue at District56, 8230 Civic Center Drive

September 30 at 6:30pm-8:30pm

Cultural Connections, Storytellers Series
The Center at District56, 8230 Civic Center Drive

Jose Hernandez

José Moreno Hernández


Engineer and Former NASA Astronaut

José Hernández was a migrant farmworker from Stockton who dreamed of traveling to space. After learning that Franklin Chang-Diaz was the first Hispanic-American selected for the Astronaut Corps, Hernandez was inspired to pursue his dream to become an astronaut. In addition to his career at NASA, Hernandez helped develop the first digital mammography imaging system that detects early signs of breast cancer.

Photo source: nasa.gov

Celia Cruz

Celia Cruz


Cuban American singer also known as the “Queen of Salsa.”

Cruz's legacy has been honored since before her death, including a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (1987), the asteroid name 5212 Celia Cruz (1989), the Excellence Awards at the 1990 Lo Nuestro Awards, and Celia Cruz Way in Miami (1991). She was also recognized with a star on Boulevard Amador Bendayán in Caracas, Venezuela, and a figure in the Hollywood Wax Museum. Cruz also received three Honoris Causa doctorates from three universities in the United States: Yale University, Florida International University, and the University of Miami. Cruz, along with fellow Afro-Cuban musician Cachao, was inducted into the Billboard Latin Music Hall of Fame in 1994. She was also inducted into the International Latin Music Hall of Fame in 1999. In the same year, she was presented with the ASCAP Latin Heritage Award becoming the first recipient of the accolade.

Photo source: celiacruzfoundation1.files.wordpress.com

Sonia Sotomayor

Sonia Sotomayor

(1954 – Present)

First Hispanic American to serve on the high court.

When President Obama nominated federal judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, many Americans welcomed the appointment as a historic milestone; as the first Hispanic and the third woman to serve on the United States Supreme Court. Sotomayor graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University and earned her law degree at Yale Law School.

Photo source: Creative Commons

Fernando Valenzuela

Fernando Valenzuela "El Toro"

(1960 - Present )

First Dodgers' pitcher to win a Silver Slugger Award.

Valenzuela was born in the State of Sonora, Mexico. The Dodgers signed him in 1979 after watching him play for the Yucatan team of the Mexican League. He was later named National League Rookie of the Year and became the first rookie player to win the Cy Young Award (given to the best pitcher in each league), while leading the Dodgers to the World Series title in 1988.

In a pregame field ceremony at Dodger Stadium, Valenzuela was inducted into the Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum Hall of Fame in 2003. Valenzuela has been honored by Major League Baseball's Latino Legends Team in 2005 as well as he became a member of the Caribbean Baseball Hall of Fame in 2013. Valenzuela was inducted into the Baseball Reliquary's Shrine of the Eternals in 2006.

Photo source: Creative Commons

Ellen Ochoa

Ellen Ochoa

(1958 - Present )

American engineer and former astronaut.

Dr. Ellen Ochoa is a Mexican American engineer and former astronaut. Ochoa was known for being the first Hispanic woman to go to space when she served on the nine-day STS-56 mission aboard the space shuttle Discovery in 1993. Ochoa graduated from Stanford with a Master of Science degree and Doctorate in Electrical Engineering and later became a research engineer at Sandia National Laboratories and NASA’s Ames Research Center. Ochoa has been recognized with NASA’s highest award, the Distinguished Service Medal and the Presidential Distinguished Rank Award for senior executives in the federal government.

Photo source: nasa.gov

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