Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus is proud to recognize National Hispanic Heritage Month, which is observed each year from Sept. 15th to Oct. 15th.
Hispanic Heritage Month honors the cultures and contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans, celebrating the heritage rooted in all Latin American countries.
“Hispanic Heritage Month encourages us to highlight and learn about the many contributions that Hispanics have made in communities throughout Orange County,” Neuhaus said. “Latinos have played an important role in every aspect of our community, including the arts, medicine, government and business. We are proud of the County’s rich and diverse Hispanic culture and heritage.”
Started in 1968 by Congress as Hispanic Heritage Week, it was expanded to a month in 1988. The celebration begins in the middle rather than the start of September because it coincides with national independence days in several Latin American countries Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica all celebrate their independence on Sept. 15th, followed by Mexico on Sept. 16th, Chile on Sept. 18th, and Belize on Sept. 21st.
The Hispanic population of Orange County is approximately 89,744 people, 22.4 percent of the county’s overall population according to the 2020 Census.
This is up from 67,185 people comprising 18.0 percent of the overall population in 2010, an increase of 33.6 percent in the last 10 years. More than 54 percent of Orange County residents born outside the U.S. are from Latin America.
Inaudy Esposito, executive director of the Orange County Human Rights Commission, noted that residents can use Hispanic Heritage Month as an opportunity to support Hispanic businesses and charities, enjoy cuisine from any of the countries that are being celebrated and take time to learn about their cultures.
“As a proud Latina, I join County Executive Neuhaus in celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month,” said Esposito, a native of the Dominican Republic. “This month marks the independence of Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico and Chile. I encourage everyone to explore and experience all that the Latino community has to offer by visiting the many wonderful places here in Orange County to celebrate its varied music, foods and cultures.”