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Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month honors people of Spanish-speaking backgrounds in the United States. It begins on September 15 because of its coincidence with Independence Day celebrations on September 15 in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, on September 16 in Mexico, and on September 18 in Chile . From September 15 to October 15, a number of special programs, events and exhibits celebrate the heritage, culture, spirit and extraordinary contributions of Hispanic Americans.

This year’s theme recognizes the strength and hard work of Hispanic Americans and pays tribute to the generations of Hispanic Americans who have positively influenced and enriched our nation and society. Mentioned among them is actress Rita Moreno, singer Celia Cruz, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, activist Cesar Chavez, Nobel prize-winning physicist Dr. Severo Ochoa, U.S. Navy Admiral David G. Farragut, singer Joan Baez and actor Desi Arnaz.

Hispanics are the fastest-growing minority group in the United States, according to the Census Bureau. It is estimated that the Hispanic population will triple, from almost 47 million to 133 million, from 2008 to 2050. This reflects an increase from 15 percent to 30 percent of the population.

Today, more than ever, Hispanic Americans play an integral role in positively influencing and enriching our nation and society. They serve as leaders in government, law, business, science, sports, the arts and many other occupations. The influence of Hispanic culture is reflected in every aspect of American life, from politics to education through music and television.

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