Hispanic Heritage Month has begun. September 15 marked the official commencement, and there's plenty of happenings in Houston to support the rich history weaved through the city's own Hispanic heritage.
The kick-off mirrors the date five Latin American countries – Costa Rica, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, and El Salvador celebrate their independence. The date also marks the start of similar independence dates for other Caribbean, Central and South American countries such as Mexico (September 16th), Chile (September 18th), and Belize (September 21st).
In 1968, the observation of Hispanic Heritage Week began under President Lyndon B. Johnson. Two decades later, Ronald Reagan would change the week to 30 days beginning on September 15. On August 17th, 1988, Hispanic Heritage Month would be enacted into law.
Of course, with the Bayou City cultivating one of the largest Hispanic communities in the nation, we can’t help but feel the excitement burgeoning in the Houston air. As Hispanic Heritage Month goes into full swing, here’s where you can celebrate all month long.
Goodera Virtual Kickoff
Goodera, a global organization for nonprofits, hosted a virtual kick-off to National Heritage Month. During the event, Graciela Saenz and Dr. Gene Preuss of UH-Downtown were interviewed and Katrina Machetta, a high school poet, recited her poem “Esperanza: A Celebration of Hispanic Heritage and Hope.”
Goodera Hispanic Heritage Month Virtual Kickoff, September 15. Watch the full screening here.
Mexican-American History & Culture in 20th Century Houston Mural
38 crucial events, places, and figures are masterfully painted into a mural that overlooks Connally Plaza. The Heritage Society’s permanent addition, the Mexican-American History & Culture in 20th Century Houston was unveiled in the fall of 2018 by mural artists Laura López Cano and Jesse Sifuentes. The lively kaleidoscope of Mexican-American heritage sits comfortably amidst the stunning backdrop of the downtown skyline and surrounding oak trees. Each event, place, and person detailed in the artwork pays homage to the endless contributions Mexican-Americans made in Houston.
Mexican-American History & Culture in 20th Century Houston Mural, 1100 Bagby Street. For more information, click here.
Houston Latin American Philharmonic
Houston is home to the Houston Latin American Philharmonic, a professional orchestra dedicated to Latin American music. Led by maestro Glenn Garrido, the ensemble will host Viva Latin America concert next month to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month.
Cullen Theater, 559-575 Prairie Street. Saturday, October 16. Tickets start at $29. For more information, visit the website.
Enjoy a tour of East Downtown with Mister McKinney. National Hispanic Heritage Month Bus Tours are taking place starting Saturday, October 2, with additional dates throughout the month.
Heritage Society's Hispanic Heritage Bus Tours, 1100 Bagby Street. Tickets are $20. For more information visit the National Hispanic Heritage website.
Houston Latin Festival
The Houston Latin Festival celebrates culture, music, art, and cuisine. Created to promote unity and diversity, the festival unites all regions of Latin culture, creating the ultimate Houston experience.
Houston Latin Fest, Midtown Park, 2811 Travis Street. Saturday, September 26. Tickets are $10. For more information, visit the website.
Institute of Hispanic Culture Houston Culinary Pop-Up
Hispanic Heritage Month is the perfect time to embrace Latin cuisine. The Institute of Hispanic Culture Houston (IHCH) hosts culinary pop-up events with a focus on Hispanic flavors and fusion.
IHCH Culinary Pop-Up, 3315 Sul Ross Street. Thursday, September 30, 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Tickets start at $40. For more information, visit the website.
Polaris Slingshot Houston Movie Night
Interested in a drive-in movie night with local Latino-owned food trucks, DJ's, snacks, and the chance to ride in a Slingshot? Closing out the month-long celebration is a festive drive-in showing of Pixar’s Coco, hosted by Polaris Slingshot.
Houston Movie Night, 6930 Furay Ave. October 15, from 5:00-10:00pm. Tickets are $22 per car for general admission, $30 per car for VIP admission. For more information visit the website.
Cantina on the Connally Plaza
Heritage Society members will be able to enjoy a Cantina on the Connally Plaza, celebrating the donors who contribute to the Mexican-American History & Culture in 20th Century Houston. Included in the event will be a spotlight on generations influential in shaping Houston’s Hispanic community. A documentary film about the Zenteno family will also be shown.
Cantina on the Connally Plaza, 1100 Bagby Street. Saturday, Oct. 2 from 4:00-6:00 pm. For more information visit the website.