During the months of September and October, countries from Nicaragua and Guatemala to Mexico and Brazil celebrate their independence from colonial rule. Spanning from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, National Latinx Heritage Month — dubbed National Hispanic Heritage Month by President Ronald Regan in 1988 — is meant to celebrate the histories and cultures of Latinx people in the United States.
Make the most of this month to learn as much about diverse Latinx cultures and communities as you can — and bring that energy with you through the rest of the year. Exploring the difference between "Latinx" and "Hispanic" is a good place to start. From there, you can tune into the work of local Latinx arts organizations near you, or donate to U.S.-based groups dedicated to preserving Latinx cultural heritage. If you're a Spanish speaker, you can sign up to be a poll worker this coming Election Day and serve as an interpreter for Spanish-speaking voters. And if you want to mix education with advocacy, you might want to hop into the Latinos in the South virtual conference.
However you observe Latinx Heritage Month, know that you can celebrate the contributions of Latinx people to this country any time of year. Here are five action-oriented ways to celebrate.