National Hispanic Heritage Month begins Wednesday, Sept. 15, and will last until Oct. 15 this year. Originally from Mexico, my family will be visiting some of our extended family this month and celebrating at some of the festivals and parades that are happening all over the country.
National Hispanic Heritage Month Around the Country
No matter where you live, you won’t be far from National Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations, parades, exhibits and festivals. At the Smithsonian Museum, you will find an exhibit dedicated to Hispanic history and culture, as well as a Latin American section at The Folklife Festival on the National Mall.
In San Jose, Calif., you can check out the 18th annual San Jose Mariachi and Mexican Heritage Festival and in Stony Brook, New York, you can experience the traditional music of Columbia at Long Island Museum. Latin music will also be highlighted at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem and you can learn more about Roberto Clemente and the baseball fever that swept Puerto Rico at the Red Cloud Opera House at the Cather Center in Red Cloud, Nebraska.
National Hispanic Heritage Month and My Family
My family is from Mazatlan on the western coast of Mexico. We have a number of family members who remain there, living and working on land dedicated to the art of making of pottery. From the dirt near our house, my family makes their own clay. From the clay, they make everything from tiles to bean pots to decorative hangings with traditional Mexican symbols. My family has a number of kilns on the their property as well as mixers for the clay, a number of tools to design and decorate each item, and a wall full of paints and glazes. Much of what they make is sold to tourists who visit the more popular cities, but they also create large orders to sell at markets all over Mexico, especially the tiles and the bean pots.
This year, my family is traveling up from Mazatlan to San Diego where more of our family lives. They will bring some of their artwork to show at a farmer’s market there and at a couple of local swap meets. My family does more than remember our culture once a year or on a specific day; rather, they’ve made a living out of memorializing the artistic tradition of Mexico and create their Hispanic tradition along the way.
San Jose Mariachi and Mexican Heritage Festival
Long Island Museum Calendar of Events
National Jazz Museum in Harlem Upcoming Events
Willa Cather Foundation: Red Cloud Opera House Events