12 ways to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

Experience different parts of Latinx and Hispanic cultures by trying some of these activities this month.

An entire month dedicated to celebrating and becoming immersed in Hispanic and Latinx culture means there’s lots of time to try different activities.

So here’s a list we came up to help you make the most of it.

Support Hispanic or Latinx-Owned Business

This one’s pretty obvious, but still worth pointing out. There’s locally-owned businesses of all types, but here are a few: Naked Bar Soap Co., Unidos Supermarkets, Melao Bakery, Zaza New Cuban Diner, Latin Square Cuisine and The Divine Canvas. Check some out!

Resources available for local Hispanic-owned businesses

Cook your own Latin-inspired meal

Especially if you like to cook, trying out a Latin-inspired recipe is a great way to honor the month. And it doesn’t have to be difficult, there’s plenty of relatively easy recipes out there you can make in your Instant Pot or air fryer. To find one, we have a list to get you started here.

Tacos (Pexel)

Enjoy a Hispanic cocktail

Many of the countries have a national cocktail or type of liquor, and in many cases, you probably haven’t tried them yet. It’s a great way to experience something authentic from the country, if you’re 21 or older, of course. We’re talking Palomas, Pisco Sours, Crema de Vie, the whole nine.

To help you choose one, we have a list here.

Make a playlist of Hispanic artists

There’s a ton of great music out there from Hispanic/Latinx artists, so why not make a playlist to jam out to? From Selena to Ricky Martin, Gloria Estefan to Marc Anthony, Carlos Santana to Shakira, there’s lots to choose from. To help you get started, we checked out a few different playlists on Spotify, and here’s a few ideas:

Despacito by Luis Fonsi

Conga by Gloria Estefan, Miami Sound Machine

Estamos Bien by Bad Bunny

Stand By Me by Prince Royce

Bidi Bidi Bom Bom by Selena

Bailamos by Enrique Iglesias

Aguanile by Marc Anthony

FILE - Gloria Estefan sings "Mas Alla" prior to Pope Francis celebrating Mass in New York on Sept. 25, 2015. Estefan said she's emerging from isolation after testing positive for COVID-19, days after dining outdoors at a Miami-area restaurant. Estefan says she fortunately only lost her sense of smell and taste and had a little bit of a cough and dehydration. In a video shared on Instagram, she says she's since tested negative.(Andrew Burton/Pool Photo via AP)

Take a Dance Class

Since you’re already enjoying some music—why not take the dance classes to go along with it? There’s several studios in Central Florida where you can cut a rug. Try out Flamenco, Bachata, Salsa, Rumba, Merengue, Samba, Bolero, Tango and more! Dance is a huge part of the culture, so go ahead, bust a move.

Credit: Dance Revolution

Check out a museum exhibit

Central Florida is home to many artists and museums and several have events celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month. The Orange County Regional History Center will feature a Smithsonian Museum Day: Celebrating Latin American Arts & Culture. The 2021 Hispanic Heritage Month Art Exhibit, organized by the Hispanic Heritage Committee of Greater Orange County, has several opportunities to check out art exhibits, including a large display at the Orange County Administration Center from September 1 to October 28. Check out other museums local to you to see if they have Hispanic Heritage Month events going on!

Orange County Regional History Center (Copyright 2021 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

Take a Spanish class

There are more and more Spanish-speakers in Central Florida every day, so why not sign up for a class to better learn the language? Not only will it make it easier to communicate with our new neighbors, but you’ll be able to better immerse yourself in the culture while you try out the other activities on this list. You can take classes online or there are plenty of local language centers to take a class in-person.

Katie Griffin, a junior at Norristown Area High School, takes part in virtual Spanish class at her home in Norristown, Pa., on Thursday, Sept. 3, 2020. The district plans to offer online-only instruction through at least January 2021. (AP Photo/Michael Rubinkam)

Listen to a Spanish or Latinx podcast

Podcasts are great ways to learn something on the go or even relaxing by the pool. They’re available in a variety of topics. Here’s a few:

Anything for Selena: Available in Spanish & English, it examines the legacy of Mexican-American pop singer Selena Quintanilla

Yeah No, I’m Not Ok: Actress Diane Guerrero sits down with celebrities of color in a space to share about mental health

News in Slow Spanish: Podcast discusses current events slowly, so if you’re brushing up on your Spanish, take a listen

Café con Pam: Pam Covarrubias interviews Latinos and people of colors on all kinds of topics like breaking barriers.

Anything for Selena (Copyright 2021 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

Watch a Spanish-language movie

It’s a great way to immerse yourself in the culture from the comfort of your couch. There’s a good amount of Spanish-language films on Netflix right now of varying genres, so basically there’s something for everyone: Roma, Pan’s Labyrinth, The Platform, A Twelve Year Night, The Fury of a Patient Man (Tarde para la Ira), The Distinguished Citizen (El Cuidadano Ilustre), The Invisible Guest, The Silence of Others (El Silencio de Otros), 100 Meters (100 Metros), The Perfect Dictatorship (La Dictadura Perfecta), and The Three Deaths of Marisela Escobedo.

Roma (Copyright 2021 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

Visit one of the sites highlighting Florida’s Spanish Colonial Heritage

You probably already know the first European settlements in Florida were from Spain. There’s rich history throughout the state, including in nearby St. Augustine. The Florida Division of Historical Resources has actually put together a full list in the Florida Spanish Colonial Heritage Trail. There’s more than 50 sites highlighted dating from 1513 to 1821. Check it out here to plan your own Hispanic Heritage Month sightseeing tour.

Florida Heritage Trail (Copyright 2021 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

Check out some Hispanic/Latin history

If a road trip isn’t your thing, there are other ways to learn about the history of Hispanic Heritage in Florida. The Florida Memory: State Library and Archives of Florida has plenty of articles and photos to check out. If something funny is more your style, John Leguizamo’s one-man Broadway show Latin History for Morons on Netflix definitely will give you a unique interpretation of thousands of years of Latin history. You can also check out 56 influential Hispanic Americans in photos here.

Latin History for Morons (Copyright 2021 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

Donate to causes benefitting the Hispanic/Latinx community

There are always ways you can get results and give back to the community.

Hispanic Federation: Provides support through action areas like health, civic engagement, immigration, economic empowerment, education, organizational development and environment.

Prospera: An economic development, nonprofit serving Hispanic entrepreneurs trying to start or grow their businesses.

Hispanic Heritage Foundation: Donations fund their Latinos On Fast Track (LOFT) programs like Code as a Second Language, Youth Awards, STEM Symposia, Hispanic Heritage Awards, LOFT Source and more.

Hispanic Scholarship Fund: Organization provides knowledge and support to parents and students as well as providing scholarships to as many Hispanic students as possible

National Alliance for Hispanic Health: Their mission is to provide services to Hispanics throughout the U.S.

About the Author:

Tara Evans is an executive producer and has been with News 6 since January 2013. She currently spearheads News 6 at Nine and specializes in stories with messages of inspiration, hope and that make a difference for people -- with a few hard-hitting investigations thrown in from time to time.