From September 15 through October 15, Holyoke Public Schools will join with schools and communities nationwide in celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month through a variety of classroom activities and integrated learning in all 12 district schools.
“With 81 percent of our students and more than half of our city’s residents identifying as Latino or Latina, Hispanic Heritage Month offers profound opportunities for our community to feel proud, represented, and engaged with the native roots of so many of our residents,” said Superintendent Anthony Soto.
This annual event is celebrated across the country and highlights the cultures, history, and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, and South America. The first such national recognition was observed in 1968 as National Hispanic Week under President Lyndon B. Johnson. It was later expanded to National Hispanic Heritage Month by President Ronald Reagan, who signed it into law in 1988 and extended it to a 30-day period from September 15 through October 15.
Watch for news, photos, and videos from HPS classrooms that will be shared on the district’s website, Facebook and Instagram pages, and later editions of the “Together for Holyoke” e-newsletter. HPS staff and families are encouraged to share photos and celebration information for possible inclusion in district publications by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Local and national resources:
Holyoke educators, students, and families are encouraged to explore these historical and cultural resources:
Holyoke Public Library offers a wide range of historical and cultural books and other resources for people of all ages. The library has scheduled a free genealogy presentation, “My People Were Here Too,” from 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 9. In person and online options available. Professional genealogist and author Irisneri Alicea Flores will share her healing journey story in both English and Spanish and will offer practical tips for searching for your own family history using regional resources, including families with roots in Puerto Rico and elsewhere in the Caribbean, South and Central America, and other locations from around the world.
Springfield Puerto Rican Parade begins at 11 a.m. on Sunday, September 17, 2023 between Main Street and Wason Avenue in Springfield.
Nueva Esperanza is a pioneer for community-based programs in Holyoke that celebrate and highlight the Puerto Rican/Afro Caribbean Culture.
- September 15: Independence Day of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua
September 15: Independence Day of Mexico and Chile
October 12: Día de la Raza/Indigenous Peoples Day