Hispanic Americans all across the country are celebrating their history, timeless traditions, and the magnificence of being Hispanic and proud. Normally you would see the Puerto Rican Day parade, or other festivities showing the pride Hispanic Americans have for their very rich heritage. However, this is 2020 and those normal festivities have been altered or curbed to fit the times in which we live. But that doesn’t mean you cannot appreciate and celebrate the robust cultures.
On September 17, 1968, Congress passed Public Law 90-48 declaring September 15th the beginning of National Hispanic Heritage Week. This action was taken to share in the joy of the first 5 countries celebrating their independence from Spain-Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Collectively, all 5 countries declared their Spanish independence on September 15th, 1821, 11 years after the liberation of Mexico and Chile. Belize was the last of all celebrated Hispanic countries to receive their liberation in only 1981.
President Lyndon B. Johnson was thrilled to make this week a time of observation, honor, and ceremonious activity. However, in 1987, California State Representative Esteban E. Torres felt that a week simply was not enough time, therefore, on September 14th, 1988, President George H. W. Bush was the first president to declare the month-long celebration of Hispanic Heritage from September 15th- October 15th.
The Hispanic population in the United States topples over 57 million, which accounts for two-thirds of the residents. The food, fashion, language, and all-around general culture, adds to the delicious melting pot that is the United States. I grew up in NY, where there is a heavy Puerto Rican, Mexican, and Cuban population. Can I just tell you the food choices I had as a child were out of this world! From arroz con pollo, to paella, to real Mexican street tacos and more, makes me always long for the flavors of home.
This Friday I will be cooking with the head chef from JR Cakes, Jacqueline Bonaparte, who just so happens to be my amazing sister-in-law. Thank God for a smart brother who married up! You can view us on the FB watch party on Friday, October 2, 2020, as we make one of her favorite Puerto Rican dishes. I look forward to seeing you there.