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Why is Hispanic Heritage Month split over two months?

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Posted at 7:08 PM, Oct 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-01 20:10:42-04

Before Louisiana became heavily influenced by France – Spain had claimed this piece of land.

KATC spoke with Leslie Bary, a Spanish professor at UL at Lafayette. She says Spain had a large influence in Louisiana as people know it today.

“There is just so much movement and exchange, historically speaking,” she said. “The Spanish-speaking world is a big part of it, has been a part of it, and is now.”

She says part of celebrating Hispanic heritage has a lot to do with becoming educated about it.

“Realizing that Hispanic culture is more than dancing and food,” she said.

Although not the norm, Hispanic Heritage Month is split over two months. It goes from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15.

But why?

“Hispanic Heritage Month has these two bookends,” she explained.

She’s referring to Sept. 16 which is Mexico's Independence Day.

On the other end, - Día de la Raza meaning Columbus Day, otherwise known as Indigenous Peoples’ Day, is Oct. 12.

During this time, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Chile also celebrate their independence.

Part of this celebration also includes immigrants who have come to the US from these countries.

Bary says this influx of people from Spanish-speaking countries is nothing new.

“They’ve been doing it for 300 years or something,” she said. “These connections have been existing for that long. New Orleans and Louisiana are on the map in the Hispanic world.”

The culture of at least 20 countries of the Americas is celebrated during this time.

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