National Hispanic Heritage Month

Jeanny Reither - Tuesday, 19 September 2017 09:38

September 15 to October 15 is National Hispanic Heritage Month. It is a time when the country recognizes the contributions made by Hispanic and Latino Americans and celebrates their unique heritage and culture.

Hispanics and Latinos have had a profound and positive influence on the country through their strong commitment to family, faith, hard work, and service. They have enhanced and shaped the national character with centuries-old traditions that reflect the multiethnic and multicultural customs of their community.

National Hispanic Heritage Month

Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. The designation celebrates the contributions to America of men and women of Hispanic origin, as well as recalling the work of the early Spanish explorers and settlers.

The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988, on the approval of Public Law 100-402.

The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico celebrates their independence day on September 16; Chile on and September 18; and Belize on September 21. Also, Columbus Day or Día de la Raza, which is October 12, falls within this 30-day period.

The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution, and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum all join in paying tribute to the generations of Hispanic Americans who have positively influenced and enriched our nation and society.

The term Hispanic or Latino, refers to Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin regardless of race. On the 2010 Census form, people of Spanish, Hispanic and/or Latino origin could identify themselves as Mexican, Mexican American, Chicano, Puerto Rican, Cuban, or “another Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin.”

Today, 55 million people or 17% of the American population are of Hispanic or Latino origin. This represents a significant increase from 2000, which registered the Hispanic population at 35.3 million or 13% of the total U.S. population.

Health education and disease prevention campaigns and programs are often designed for the specific needs of this large and growing population. Klein Buendel’s research has found that matching photographs specifically to target populations, like Hispanics and Latinos, can improve the effectiveness of a health message. The message can be more impactful because the photographs increase the audience member’s identification with the message in a very real and visual way.

KB’s Real Health Photos stock photography enterprise includes thousands of images to help improve the effectiveness of health promotion messages for targeted audiences. Real Health Photos images depict diversity of gender, race, ethnicity, age, income level, and health condition.

Real Health Photos of Hispanics and Latinos  

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RHPLogo_SMFor more images to promote health messages to Hispanic and Latino communities, visit Real Health Photos.

Real Health Photos is a stock photography service owned and operated by KB. It was created and evaluated with a research grant (MD003338, Mary Buller, PI) from the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities at the National Institutes of Health. Real Health Photos is designed to capture the diversity of health through photography and promote the inclusion of all Americans in health promotion materials and media.



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