Hispanic heritage has long been intertwined with the history of the Boy Scouts of America, as our organization reaches members from all different backgrounds and parts of the world. That’s why National Hispanic Heritage Month is so significant to us.
Today is the first in a 30-day celebration of the culture and history of Americans with Spanish, Mexican, Caribbean, and Central and South American heritage. Originally, President Lyndon B. Johnson established a Hispanic Heritage Week in 1968. President Ronald Reagan extended the celebration to a month in 1988. Officially, National Hispanic Heritage Month runs September 15 to October 15.
You may be wondering why the observation begins mid-month. That’s because September 15 is the anniversary of independence for several Latin American countries, including Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Mexico and Chile’s independence days also fall within National Hispanic Heritage Month.
The heritage of all Latinos and Hispanic Americans is important to Scouters. However, as a significant number of the youth we serve share Hispanic heritage, celebrating their culture is key for us. For this reason, we develop culturally relevant and bilingual programs along with videos and content in Spanish, to ensure kids, parents, and grandparents who primarily speak Spanish at home can understand the value of Scouting, too.
With leadership like Chief Diversity Officer Ponce Duran in place, the BSA is making sure we continue our legacy of serving Hispanic families. In fact, many of our organization’s top leaders are of Latino and Hispanic heritage.
Read more about their contributions to the BSA and help us celebrate this important month by reading Latino Magazine’s feature on the BSA’s Hispanic Leadership.