Lots to Learn

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By Abelardo de la Pe?a Jr.
Published on LatinoLA: September 15, 2006

Lots to Learn


This is el editor de Been a while.

Here is something I wrote for my paying job as VP, Consumer Strategist, Latino for Iconoculture. A few words have been changed, OK?

- Abelardo

Do you hear the m?sica? Feel the energy and emoci?n? Smell the arroz y frijoles? It must be because today's the start of Hispanic Heritage Month.

First, a little history: In 1968, the U.S. Congress resolved that the president was authorized to issue annually a proclamation designating the week including September 15 and 16 as "National Hispanic Heritage Week."

Why those two dates? September 15 is the day of independence of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. The next day, Mexico celebrates theirs. In 1988, Congress decided a week wasn't enough, so it authorized the designation of National Hispanic Heritage Month, from September 15 through October 15.

Cut to 2006. Throughout the U.S., municipalities, educational institutions and nonprofit organizations are offering up programs and activities revolving around Latino history, culture, art and more. Companies like Nordstrom, Fisher-Price, Union Bank and Cartoon Network are also saluting Latinos one way or another.

The question is, is there still a need to set aside 30 days each year to bring attention to Latinos? The population, which is 42.7 million strong according to the Census Bureau, is engrained in U.S. consciousness via media and everyday life; it would seem that we probably know all there is to know about Latinos. ?Que no?

If you agree, I challenge you to take AOL Latino's Hispanic Heritage Month series of quizzes on food, sports, music and geography.

Looking at my scores, I can tell you that this Latino, for one, has a lot more to learn.

Celebrate your heritage EVERY day!

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