Hispanic Heritage Month 2022

Each year, people across the United States observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15 by celebrating and reflecting on the histories, cultures, and contributions of Americans with ancestry from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. While Hispanic Heritage Month is only 30 days, the museum’s curators, researchers, and educators work with communities across the country to document and share Latino histories every day of the year. 

As part of the museum’s commitment to sharing Hispanic and Latino history, the museum has updated its Latino History topic page, where you can find even more exhibitions, programs, museum collections, and resources that reflect the richness and diversity of Latino history in the United States. 

Our mission as a national public history institution is not only to tell complex stories but also to use history to empower people to create a just, compassionate, and equitable future. In an increasingly divided country, it is more important than ever to learn about and stand in solidarity with Latino communities. 

Cada año las personas en Estados Unidos observan el mes de la herencia hispana desde el 15 de septiembre al 15 de octubre celebrando y reflexionando sobre la historia, cultura y contribuciones de las personas que rastrean sus orígenes a España, Méjico, el Caribe, y América Central y Sur. Aunque el mes conste de solo 30 días, los/las curadores/as, educadores/as, investigadores/as trabajan con comunidades a lo largo de todo el país para documentar y compartir las historias de Latinos/as cada día del año.

Como parte del compromiso del museo de compartir y diseminar estas historias, el museo ha actualizado su página Latino History topic page, en la cual pueden encontrar exhibiciones, colecciones, programas y recursos educativos que reflejan la rica , diversa y complicada historia de las comunidades Latinas en los Estados Unidos.

Nuestra misión como entidad de historia publica no es solo compartir historias complejas sino que apuntamos a utilizar la historia como herramienta de empoderamiento de  las personas para crear un futuro con equidad y compasión. Frente a un país tan dividido, es más importante que nunca aprender acerca de las comunidades Latinas y brindar solidaridad.

Public Programs

Hispanic Heritage Month Family Festival

Friday, September 16, and Saturday, September 17 
2 East 

The National Museum of the American Latino recently debuted the Molina Family Latino Gallery, located within the National Museum of American History, the Smithsonian’s first gallery dedicated to the Latino experience. The inaugural exhibition ¡Presente! A Latino History of the United States illuminates U.S. Latinos’ historical and cultural legacies.  

Two days of public events will kick off Hispanic Heritage Month in celebration of the gallery's opening and commemorate 25 years of Latinidad at the Smithsonian. The program will include an evening dance party on Friday, September 16, and a Latino Heritage family day and cooking demonstration (details below) on Saturday, September 17, at the National Museum of American History. For more information, go to latino.si.edu.

Objects Out of Storage

Celebrating 25 years of Latinidad with the National Museum of American History Collections
Saturday, September 17; 11:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.
1 West

Curators with knowledge and expertise about the rich diversity of Latino history will engage in informal conversations with visitors while telling stories related to artifacts in the museum collections. Guests will have a unique opportunity to ask questions about the objects, the stories, and how they came to be part of the national collections.

Batter Up! Demonstration with Juan Baret

Saturday, September 17; 11:30 a.m.
Southwest Mall Terrace

Juan Baret’s passion for baseball spans his entire life, from his childhood in the Dominican Republic, to cheering for the Yankees when he migrated to the Bronx as a young man, to his time in the U.S. military. Join Baret as he channels his love of the game into the craftsmanship of bats. This program is in conjunction with the exhibition, ¡Pleibol! In the Barrios and the Big Leagues / En los barrios y las grandes ligas which is currently on display until January 2023 at the National Museum of American History and will travel across the country through 2025 with the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Services.

Cooking Up History

Celebrating Comida Chingona & the Low-Rider Lifestyle
Saturday, September 17; noon–1:00 p.m. 
Coulter Plaza, 1 West 

The National Museum of American History continues its popular series of live cooking demonstrations for Hispanic Heritage Month. Guest Chef Silvana Salido Esparza made her mark on the U.S. food scene with the comida chingona, or “badass food,” that she serves at her Phoenix-based restaurant, Barrio Café. She draws inspiration from her Mexican heritage with the restaurant’s offerings, which honor her family’s 800-year-old gastronomic legacy with a twist. Chef Esparza is not only passionate about putting her own spin on Mexican food, but also about cars, specifically lowriders. Chef Esparza will explain the lowrider tradition during this cooking demonstration and conversation and the food culture connected to the lowrider lifestyle in Phoenix. Chef Esparza will prepare a dish illuminating Mayan barbecue, providing insights into this important, but often overlooked, culinary tradition. Visitors are encouraged to view Dave’s Dream, a lowrider from Chimayo, New Mexico. 

This program is produced in collaboration with the National Museum of the American Latino.

A Conversation with Linda Alvarado

Saturday, September 17; 2:00–3:00 p.m. 
Coulter Plaza, 1 West 

Dr. Margaret Salazar-Porzio, curator of the Smithsonian's ¡Pleibol! In the Barrios and the Big Leagues / En los barrios y las grandes ligas exhibition, will interview Linda Alvarado, owner of the Colorado Rockies, about her life and career. In 1991, Alvarado became the first Latino owner—male or female—of a Major League Baseball franchise. She is a nationally recognized speaker who extends her passion for breaking barriers to motivating and encouraging young Latinas and women of all ages to achieve their dreams.

Dr. Salazar will sign copies of her book following the onstage conversation.

¡Pleibol! In the Barrios and the Big Leagues /  En los barrios y las grandes ligas is currently on display until January 2023 at the National Museum of American History and will travel across the country through 2025 with the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Services.

Selected Exhibitions

Dave’s Dream, Lowrider, 1992

First Floor, Center 

“Dave’s Dream” is a modified 1969 Ford LTD known as a “lowrider” and named for David Jaramillo of Chimayo, New Mexico who began customizing this car in the 1970s. After his death, Jaramillo’s family and local artisans completed the modifications that he had planned, and the car often won “first” or “best in show” in area competitions. Lowriding is a family and community activity with parades, trophies, and other events celebrating cars and paying homage to their power and beauty. Artistic paint schemes and custom upholstery make each lowrider unique and culturally significant. Hydraulic lifts enable lowriders to hop, making them seem alive and animated.

¡Pleibol! In the Barrios and the Big Leagues / En los barrios y las grandes ligas

Red silhouette of baseball player with "Pleibol"Ongoing; closes January 2023
2 East

This bilingual exhibition takes audiences on a journey into the heart of American baseball to understand how generations of Latinas/os have helped make the game what it is today. For nearly a century, baseball has been a social and cultural force in Latino communities across the United States. From hometown baseball teams to the Major Leagues, the exhibit shows how the game can bring people together and how Latino players have made a huge impact on the sport. Explore the ¡Pleibol! exhibition online.

Many Voices, One Nation

2 West

How did we become US? Many Voices, One Nation explores how the many voices of people in America have shaped our nation. The exhibition explores many Latino stories, including the Indigenous peoples of Spanish New Mexico and the Pueblo Revolt; the incorporation of Mexican California; the U.S. acquisition of Puerto Rico; Mexican neighborhoods in Chicago and Los Angeles; immigration and the southwest borderlands; and Cuban migration.

¡Presente! A Latino History of the United States

Molina Family Latino Gallery
1 East

The inaugural exhibition by the Smithsonian’s newest museum—the National Museum of the American Latino—introduces visitors to key concepts, moments and biographies that illuminate U.S. Latinos’ historical and cultural legacies. Hosted at the National Museum of American History, also the largest object lender to the exhibition, the 4,500 square foot gallery is an interactive space where multigenerational and cross-cultural visitors can celebrate and learn about Latino history and culture year-round. Learn more about ¡Presente! online.

Educational Resources

“The Resplendent Quetzal Bird” 

History Time video 

How do people earn money? What is money made of? Elementary school students can practice their “See, Think, Wonder” routine by observing the resplendent Quetzal bird, whose long tail feathers were used as money in Central America. Watch the video.

Becoming US

Becoming US is a suite of resources for educators to present more accurate and inclusive immigration and migration narratives. There are five units organized by a theme, each with three case studies for in depth learning. Within the theme of Borderlands, we have resources on the Mexican American War. Nested in the theme of Belonging is a case study on Mexican Repatriation, and within Policy is a case study about DACA. The case studies include standards of learning, key questions and terms, primary sources, and teacher- and student-facing documents. 

History Explorer

For more Latino History materials to use in the classroom, please visit our Hispanic Heritage Month themed landing page on History Explorer, the museum's home for K-12 resources.