Hispanic Heritage Month was introduced by California Congressman George E. Brown who represented San Gabriel Valley in Southern California. It started out as Hispanic Heritage Week in 1968 under President Lyndon B. Johnson and grew into a full month (September 15 – October 15) in 1988 by President Ronald Raegan. Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates Spanish, Mexican, Caribbean, and Central and South American citizens and their history, culture, and contributions to the larger society. Click here to learn more about the terms Hispanic, Latino, Chicano, and Latinx.
Important Dates to Remember
- September 15 is the Independence Day for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua
- September 16 is Mexico’s Independence Day
- September 18th is Chile’s Independence Day
When you first think of Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month, you may first think about food, festivities, and music. However, you may be wondering how Hispanic Heritage Month connects to career, so let me tell you. Without the contributions of Hispanic/ Latino people, we would not have the colored television (Guillermo Gonzalez Camarena) or the wireless phone (Roberto Landell de Moura). Medical practices would not be the same if it were not for Domingo Liotta and his invention of the artificial heart that would be implanted into humans. People within the community have contributed to larger society for centuries and careers have been advanced because of them.
One resource to highlight is the Hispanic/ Latino Professionals Association. On their website they state, “The HLPA continually publishes and updates career information and opportunities from quality socially conscious organizations who support the Hispanic / Latino Community.” You can contribute as much as, if not more than, some of the names mentioned above with the right resources and direction.
According to UConn enrollment statistics, in fall 2020, Hispanic/Latino students accounted for 8,423 of the UConn population, both full-time and part-time. As a UConn student, I encourage you to utilize the Puerto Rican/Latin American Cultural Center (PRLACC) to learn more and get involved. Also, consider Greek Life at UConn. The Intercultural Greek Council has organizations that are historically Latinx or have a special focus on Latinx people across the diaspora.
Be on the lookout for more information on this cultural month as it relates to career and career development via our Instagram (@uconnccd), Facebook (UConn Center for Career Development), and Twitter (@UConnCCD). Until then, look at the Center for Career and Development’s Latinx affinity community page to view more resources. You can also attend the free virtual events put together by the Smithsonian.
October 11, 2021 – Resume Critiquing night focused on Hispanic and Latinx Students. https://career.uconn.edu/ will have more information soon!