Chapter News

September is Hispanic Heritage Month

Author: Erika Mayén, CMP, CASE | Global Account Executive | Marriott Global Sales Organization

Hispanic Heritage Month is observed starting Sept 15 to coincide with the Independence Day of several Latin American countries, such as Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala.

As of July 2022, the Hispanic population of the United States is 63.7 million people, making it the nation’s largest racial or ethnic minority — 19.1% of the total population. ( There are many differences between the various communities that comprise the Hispanic population, and together, we have made an outsize impact on music, popular culture and politics.

You may be wondering, what is the difference between “Hispanic” and “Latino”? In essence, “Latino” focuses on the geographic origin in Latin America, while “Hispanic” emphasizes the linguistic and cultural connection to the Spanish language and Spain. However, it’s important to note that individuals may prefer one term over the other based on their personal preferences and identities.

As a Latina, I have a strong connection to the beautiful language of Spanish and the traditions that have been passed down to me. So much of my heritage is wrapped up in delightful sights and smells. Some of my favorite traditions are making tamales at Christmas time, and staying up until midnight on Nochebuena (Christmas Eve) to open presents with my family. I also have fond memories of celebrating Día de los Reyes Magos each January, sharing a delicious, freshly baked rosca with friends and family. And yes, I love salsa dancing- also cumbia and merengue! There are so many things that make me proud of who I am and it is important to me that my children are aware of and proud of their heritage.

How can we all be better allies to Hispanic and Latino communities? Engage and enter into discussions openly. Continuously reflect on your own biases, learn from your mistakes, and be open to growth in your understanding of Latino cultures and experiences. We can all learn something from each other, and it’s ok to make mistakes in the process.

capitalpcmaorgSeptember is Hispanic Heritage Month