Celebrating Hispanic Latine Heritage Month

Celebrating Hispanic Latine Heritage Month

Submitted by Valley’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee

We celebrate Hispanic Latine Heritage Month each year from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. It begins on a significant day in history, as Sept. 15 marks the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on Sept. 16 and Sept. 18, respectively. This year the theme recognizes the significant strides of Hispanics in the economic, political, and social growth of the United States, under the theme, “Latinos: Driving Prosperity, Power, and Progress in America.” Learn more here.

According to the Census Bureau, the U.S. Hispanic population is 62.1 million as of 2020, “making people of Hispanic origin the nation’s largest ethnic or racial minority.” What’s more, between 2010 and 2020, just over half of the U.S. population growth stemmed from the increase in Hispanic or Latine people. We also want to recognize that the terms “Hispanic” or “Latine” do not fully represent Latin America’s rich and complex racial history.

This month reminds us that our fabric is woven together by diverse traditions and stories, many from the creativity, resilience, and insight of Hispanic and Latine people in the United States. Our culture has been enriched and our values informed by the love for community and faith that is at the core of so many Hispanic communities.

Why Words Matter: Latino, Latinx, Hispanic or Latine? Which Term Should You Use?

The words we choose to say matter and have an impact more than we know. Intentionally practicing the use of inclusive language allows us to respectfully address communities in a way that acknowledges diversity, conveys respect, is sensitive to differences, and promotes equal opportunities. In particular, language matters when working in healthcare settings because it is an opportunity to convey compassionate care and create a safe environment for our patients.  

Language is always evolving, and terms used to refer to people of Latin American heritage who reside in the United States are no exception. This article helps us learn about the differences between Latino, Latinx, Hispanic, and Latine by looking at their history and how different generations see them, and to highlight the attention they bring to culture, ethnicity, and gender identity.

Carnitas Recipe
Submitted by Kimberly Fernandez-Jones, Manager, Specialty Clinics

My sons-in-law are so happy that my daughters love to cook. This is one of their favorites. Carnitas= Car-ni-tas (meaning= braised or roasted pork served shredded in small pieces, often as a filling in tacos or burritos). 


  • 2.5 lbs. boneless pork shoulder cut into large chunks
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. pepper
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 2 cloves smashed garlic
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 12 oz. Coca Cola

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Rinse pork, dry and pat down with salt and pepper.
  2. In a 6-quart pot over medium heat, add 1 tbsp. olive oil. When hot, add pork pieces and brown on all sides.
  3. Add remaining spices, orange juice, and Coca Cola to the pot.
  4. Cover and simmer over low heat for 3-4 hours until meat falls apart with a fork.
  5. Remove pork from the liquid.

Serve in tortillas (corn or flour). Add grilled veggies (onion, peppers) or jalapeños if desired.

How to Celebrate Hispanic Latine Heritage Month

  • MEXAM Northwest Festival – Uniting the U.S. and Mexico through music, film, visual arts and more, this festival runs now through Oct. 13. This year’s festivities include virtual and in-person events, including poetry readings, concerts and dance performances.
  • Annual Dia De Muertos Gala – Entre Hermanos, a Seattle Latino LGBTQ+ non-profit with origins dating back 30+ years, is hosting an Annual Dia De Muertos Gala at the Renaissance Hotel on Oct. 28. There will be music, dinner, dancing, and the opportunity to dress up, all in support of a good cause. 
  • Sea Mar Fiestas Patrias – Presented by Seattle Center Festál in partnership with Sea Mar Community Health Centers, Sea Mar Fiestas Patrias celebrates Latino culture.
  • Bailadores de Bronce – Mexican folkloric dance group that performs in and around Seattle and the Pacific Northwest. Check their Facebook page for upcoming performances.
  • Seattle Latino Film Festival – The 15th annual edition of the film festival runs Oct. 8 – 17. With North American and Northwest premieres of feature films, short films and documentaries, the hybrid festival will take place on an on-demand film festival platform and at Beacon Cinema.
  • The Sea Mar Museum of Chicano/a/Latino/a Culture – A museum in Seattle’s South Park neighborhood showcasing the history of Chicanx and Latinx people from post-war immigration to now.

Please note that the listings above are for informational purposes only and are not an endorsement.

About The Author

Valley Medical Center's Marketing and Community Outreach Office