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Celebrating Hispanic Heritage

For the month of September, Centra is celebrating Hispanic heritage! Celebrating Hispanic heritage supports our vision of promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion for our Members, Team Members, and the Communities we serve.

Hispanic Heritage Month is actually celebrated annually between September 15 through October 15. Why those specific dates? The celebration starts on September 15 because that date marks the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua.1 Following, Mexico and Chile gained their independence on September 16 and 18.

Dating back to the late sixties, Hispanic Heritage is celebrated as a time to recognize the achievements and contributions of Hispanic Americans. The celebration actually started as a commemorative week when it was first introduced in June of 1968 by California congressman George E. Brown.Then, on September 17, 1968, Congress passed Public Law 90-48, which officially authorized and requested the president proclaim September 15 and 16 to mark the beginning of National Hispanic Heritage Week.

Then, 20 years later, President George H.W. Bush declared that the week-long celebration be extended to a month-long celebration. Bush stated, “Not all of the contributions made by Hispanic Americans to our society are so visible or so widely celebrated, however. Hispanic Americans have enriched our nation beyond measure with the quiet strength of closely knit families and proud communities.”4

Each year has a specific theme. The theme for the 2023 celebration is ‘Prosperity, Power, and Progress,’ which highlights the significant achievements of the Hispanic community in economic and political industries.

Achievements of Hispanic Americans

Here are some great achievements of Hispanic Americans that you might not know!

  • In the 1954 case Hernandez vs. State of Texas, the Supreme Court ruled that Mexican-Americans have equal protection under law.
  • Dr. Lauro Cavazos was sworn in by President George H.W. Bush as secretary of education on September 21, 1988, making him the first Hispanic to serve in a presidential cabinet.
  • Cuban immigrant Ileana Ros-Lehtinen became the first Hispanic woman to be elected to congress on August 29, 1989.
  • Sonia Sotomayor was sworn in on August 8, 2009, as the first Hispanic Supreme Court justice (and third woman) to serve on the court.
  • On June 18, 2020, in a 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which protects more than 700,000 “DREAMers.”
  • Franklin R. Chang Diaz (Ph.D.) became the first Hispanic astronaut in 1980. Then in 1993, Dr. Ellen Ochoa became the first Hispanic woman to go to space.

Spanish translation in digital banking

In our efforts to support diversity, equity, and inclusion, we have a Spanish version of digital banking. To switch your digital banking from English to Spanish on your desktop, click ‘English | Español’ in the top righthand corner of your screen. If you’re using a mobile device with the language set to Spanish, Centra Mobile will recognize the device’s language setting and switch accordingly. We’re grateful for the help and hard work of our community partner Su Casa who made the Spanish version of digital banking possible.


Want to learn more about Hispanic Heritage? Here’s some helpful resources:

1 – https://www.hispanicheritagemonth.gov/about/

2, 3, 4- https://www.history.com/topics/hispanic-history/hispanic-heritage-month