Virginia.gov honors the contributions of Hispanic Americans in Virginia during national Hispanic Heritage month, September 15 - October 15.
“The stories of Hispanic and Latino people are woven into the fabric of our communities. I invite all Virginians to participate in virtual and other safe celebrations of Hispanic and Latino heritage taking place in communities around the Commonwealth. Hispanic and Latino history is Virginia’s history.”
Through Hispanic Heritage Month, Virginia.gov's spotlight celebrates the history, culture, and contributions of individuals who trace their roots to Spain, Mexico, Central America, South America, and the Spanish-speaking nations of the Caribbean. Meet some of these noteworthy Virginians!
The observance of Hispanic Heritage Month began in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson. It was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting Sept. 15. The monthlong observance was enacted into law Aug. 17, 1988.
People of Hispanic heritage have long played important roles in Virginia history. In 1570, Spanish explorers established a Jesuit settlement at the confluence of the James and York rivers. Spain’s backing of the young colonies during the American Revolution provided much-needed financial, logistical and manpower resources.
The terms "Hispanic" and "Latino" are often used interchangeably. "Hispanic" refers to people with origins in Spanish-speaking countries, including Spain. "Latino" describes people originating from Latin America, regardless of their native language.
Mexican Independence Day is celebrated on September 16.
Mexico was the site of several advanced Amerindian civilizations - including the Olmec, Toltec, Teotihuacan, Zapotec, Maya, and Aztec.
Mexico was conquered and colonized by Spain in the early 16th century. Administered as the Viceroyalty of New Spain for three centuries, it achieved independence early in the 19th century. --The World Factbook, Central Intelligence Agency to the Legal Aid Justice Center
Check out the resources below to learn more about Hispanic Americans in Virginia.
The mission of this impactful group is to build economic bridges between Hispanic businesses and the community at large, in order to create, promote, and enhance business opportunities for its members and partners.
Whether you’re looking to immerse yourself in Latin American culture, discover educational opportunities or explore new career paths, the Virginia Hispanic Foundation can guide you along the way. It also provides the Hispanic community with education, information and resources to successfully integrate into the Commonwealth of Virginia.
This statewide network of professionals is dedicated to improving educational opportunities for Latino/x students. Its goals include improving access and retention of Latino/x students; increasing the network’s number of collaborative partners; and ongoing work to facilitate culturally sensitive campus climates. It works with community and funding partners, policy makers and researchers/academics to achieve its goals.