Each year, Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated from September 15 to October 15. It is marked by the anniversary of independence of five Hispanic countries on September 15 including Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, who all declared independence in 1821. The month also includes the independence days for Mexico, Chile and Belize on September 16, 18 and 21 respectively.
Hispanic Heritage Month was first proclaimed by President George H. W. Bush in 1989 and has been given a presidential proclamation every year since. Additionally, on September 1, Governor Gretchen Whitmer proclaimed September 2021 as Hispanic Heritage Month to recognize and celebrate the contributions of Hispanic and Latinos in Michigan and the United States.
In Flint & Genesee, celebrations for the month will kick on September 11 and 12 with the 63rd Fiesta Mexicana at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church on Coldwater Road in Mt. Morris. The festival will take place over the weekend from 10 a.m. - 10 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. on Sunday.
The free event will feature authentic food, traditional musical acts, cultural exhibitions and a variety of vendors. Notable acts playing during the weekend include Los Hermaos Escamilla who will perform both Saturday and Sunday night.
Another way to celebrate Hispanic heritage in Flint & Genesee is by learning traditional Mexican dance through El Ballet Folklórico Estidiantil, a local dance and music school designed to educate youth on Mexican Dance and Music. The school, based out of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church teaches Mariachi-style music and Mexican folk dance.
Finally, Flint & Genesee locals can support the Hispanic and Latino community by getting involved with the Latinx Technology & Community Center. The center's mission is to enhance the dignity and quality of life for the Flint & Genesee County Latinx community and other cultures. The center provides English and Spanish language classes, and translation and interpretation services while also hosting events and advocating for its community.