hispanic heritage month with flowers

Hispanic Latino Heritage Month is September 15 – October 15, and the Gateway Region YMCA is celebrating the histories, cultures, and contributions of our Hispanic, Latino, and Latinx community members in the Gateway Region!

History of Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month begins on September 15 and runs through October 15, giving us an opportunity to recognize and celebrate members of our communities and their ancestors who hail from Mexico, parts of the Caribbean, Central and South America, and Spain.

Rather than starting at the beginning of September, Hispanic Heritage Month takes place over 30 days starting on the 15th — a nod to the anniversaries of national independence for a number of Latin American countries including Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Most of the Hispanic and Latino communities recognize September 15 as the date of their independence; however, Mexico’s independence is celebrated September 16 and Chile celebrates its independence September 18.

Hispanic Heritage Month traces its history to 1968 when it was just a week-long observance. President Lyndon B. Johnson signed a bill designating the week of September 15 as “National Hispanic Heritage Week.” It wasn’t until nearly 20 years later that Hispanic Heritage Week was lengthened to an entire month under President Ronald Reagan’s term.

How You Can Celebrate!

Check Out Hispanic Heritage Month Activities in Your Community

The Gateway Region YMCA has some great ideas to help you and your family celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month!

  • September 20 - Hispanic Heritage Month Family Game Night (Lotería) at St. Louis Public Library, Central Branch
  • September 22, 23, & 24 - Greater St. Louis Hispanic Festival at Soulard Park, next to Soulard Market
  • September 28 - Hispanic Heritage Celebration at Opera Theatre of St. Louis
  • September 28 - Hispanic Heritage Night at Venture Café
  • October 5 - Hispanic Heritage Month at the Missouri History Museum

Shop Local Hispanic, Latino and/or Latinx-Owned Businesses

Our St. Louis and Gateway Region community has some amazing local Hispanic, Latino and/or Latinx-owned businesses and restaurants. 

  • Ballpark Village
  • Chimi’s Fresh-Mex
  • El Indio
  • Guido’s Pizzeria and Tapas
  • Sal y Limon
  • The Fattened Caf
  • The Pasta Factory
  • Villa Antonio Winery
  • Bespoke Apparel
  • Big Frog Custom T-Shirts & More
  • Fastsigns
  • Fresh Thyme at The City Foundry
  • Lux Watch Straps
  • Minas Espresso

You can find out more information about locating those establishments here, and check out the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan St. Louis to browse other Hispanic-owned businesses in the community.

Share Podcasts, Movies, and Other Media

Check out a new Hispanic, Latino or Latinx-produced or directed podcast or movie. Boston University put together a great list to get you started here.

Read Books by Hispanic, Latino, and/or Latinx Authors

Check out some of the fantastic Hispanic, Latino and Latinx authors at your local library or bookstore. Simon & Schuster has a great list of books that range from fiction, to biographies, cooking, self-help, and more.