Celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage

Buscas esto en espaňol, lo puedes encontra aqui.

Each year, from September 15 to October 15, we recognize and celebrate the achievements and contributions of Hispanic people around the world.

Flag of the Hispanic People

The Official Flag of the Hispanic People (open Source)

For this blog, we’ve picked five inspirational Hispanic people for each of our eight categories to inspire further reading and research. Naturally, choosing only five people was the biggest challenge!

No matter which subject you teach, it’s easy to find Hispanic role models for your students and hopefully this blog helps get you started.

So what does it mean to be Hispanic?

Before we dive in, it’s important to clarify what it means to be Hispanic. It’s generally accepted that a Hispanic person is someone who was born in, or identifies most closely, with a Spanish-speaking nation (as a primary official language). Although this includes nations from outside the Americas and Spain itself, the word is most often used by Americans in reference to other Americans who speak Spanish due to either being born in or from a family with cultural ties to a Spanish-speaking nation.

Hispanic VIPs in…

Fine Art

Hispanic people have created some of the most widely celebrated art in the world. For our selection, as is the theme across this blog, we focused mostly on Hispanic people with close ties to America (some are American), whereas, of course, Spain itself has produced a long list of artistic geniuses. Here is a great blog that has some shared names and a few we didn’t include.

Our picks for Hispanic artists:

Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960–1988): Jean-Michel was an artist from NYC with Haitian and Puerto Rican roots who rocked the 80s art scene with his graffiti-inspired paintings. He explored themes of race and identity in his work, and his impact on contemporary art is still felt today.

Frida Kahlo (1907–1954): Frida is iconic! She was a Mexican painter famous for her self-portraits. She explored themes of pain, identity, and female power. Her art is still inspiring and empowering today.

Luis Jiménez (1940–2006): Luis was a Mexican American sculptor who created vibrant sculptures celebrating the Southwest’s cultural heritage. He used his art to talk about immigration and cultural mix-ups.

Carmen Herrera (1915–2022): Carmen is a Cuban American painter who rocked the art world with her minimalist and bold geometric paintings. She got famous later in life, but she’s definitely an influential figure.

Ana Mendieta (1948–1985): Ana was a Cuban American artist who did mind-blowing performance art and earthworks. She explored feminism, identity, and the connection between our bodies and nature. Her legacy is amazing.


Politics can be a dicey subject, but it’s important to note that we chose our five Hispanic politicians based on their fame and self-identification as Hispanic only. Their political opinions and assertions are irrelevent to them being on our list.

Our picks for Hispanic politicians:

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (1989–): AOC, as she’s widely known, is a trailblazing member of congress from New York who fearlessly fights for progressive causes and uses social media like a boss.

Joaquín Castro (1974–): Joaquín is a member of congress from Texas who fights for justice and equality. He’s known for his style and public speaking skills.

Sonia Sotomayor (1954–): As the first female Latinx Supreme Court Justice, Sotomayor brings brains and style to the bench, making us all proud with her fierce intellect and inspiring life story.

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (1952–): This Cuban American dynamo made history as the first Latina elected to the U.S. Congress and has been a passionate advocate for women’s rights, LGBTQ+ rights, and the environment.

Julián Castro (1974–): As a former Mayor, Housing Secretary, and presidential candidate, Julián Castro brings intelligence and a passion for social justice to the political arena.


Engineering — the world of applied math and science to make things happen. These geniuses are a small selection of a very long list of Hispanic engineers who have shaped the world we live in. Choosing just five was not easy. 

Our picks for Hispanic engineers:

Ellen Ochoa (1958–): A true space superstar, Ellen Ochoa is not just an engineer but also a former astronaut and the first Hispanic woman to go to space. She’s basically a rocket scientist with an out-of-this-world sense of adventure.

Franklin Chang Díaz (1950–): This legendary Costa Rican American engineer and former NASA astronaut is a pioneer in the field of plasma propulsion and has logged over 1,600 hours in space across seven missions during his astronaut career. 

Millie Dresselhaus (1930–2017): Known as the “Queen of Carbon Science,” Millie Dresselhaus was an American physicist and electrical engineer with a Jewish father and a Puerto Rican mother. She made groundbreaking contributions to the study of materials and nanotechnology, becoming a role model for women in STEM fields.

Luisa del Rosal: This engineering whiz is the Executive Director of the Tower Center for Political Studies and the Latino Center for Leadership Development, proving that you can build bridges between engineering and policy like a boss.

Carlos Castillo-Chavez (1952–): This mathematical mastermind is a renowned professor and expert in disease modeling, helping us understand how infectious diseases spread.


We missed out so many big names here that we wanted to share a few other resources! Here’s a great list of Hispanic-authored books to add to your reading list. If you prefer to listen to your books, here’s Audible’s top 10.

Our picks for Hispanic authors:

Sandra Cisneros (1954–): This vibrant Chicana author has penned beloved children’s books like “The House on Mango Street” as well as novels and poetry that celebrate cultural identity and the power of storytelling.

Matt de la Peña (1975–): Matt de la Peña is a highly acclaimed author who tackles important topics in his award-winning children’s books, such as “Last Stop on Market Street,” which teaches valuable lessons about gratitude and kindness.

Yuyi Morales (1968–): Yuyi Morales is a talented author and illustrator who creates enchanting picture books that celebrate Hispanic culture and inspire young readers with colorful illustrations and heartwarming stories.

Meg Medina (1963–): This modern Cuban American author crafts engaging and relatable stories for young readers, exploring themes of identity and family in novels like “Merci Suárez Changes Gears.”

Duncan Tonatiuh (1984–): Duncan Tonatiuh is a talented author-illustrator who creates captivating picture books rooted in Mexican folklore and history, promoting cultural pride and social justice.


There are some huge Hispanic names in the world of fashion. W magazine published an awesome blog for Hispanic Heritage Month last year, with a list of Hispanic and Latinx fashion designers to “know and love.”

Our picks for Hispanic fashionistas:

Carolina Herrera (1939–): The vibrant and glamorous Carolina Herrera, born in Venezuela, brought her unique blend of elegance and modernity to the fashion world with her timeless designs and signature white shirts.

Oscar de la Renta (1932–2014): Hailing from the Dominican Republic, the charismatic Oscar de la Renta was a true master of sophistication, sprinkling his collections with opulence and panache.

Isabel Toledo (1961–2019): The whimsical and imaginative Isabel Toledo, born in Cuba, left an indelible mark on the fashion scene with her avant-garde creations, infusing art and fashion in a way that made heads turn and hearts flutter.

Narciso Rodriguez (1961–): The suave and minimalist Narciso Rodriguez, born to Cuban parents, revolutionized contemporary fashion by sculpting clean lines and sleek silhouettes, empowering women with his understated yet undeniably chic designs.

Nina Garcia (1965–): The stylish and influential Nina Garcia, originally from Colombia, not only conquered the fashion world as a judge on “Project Runway” but also brought her flair for trends and impeccable taste to the realm of design, inspiring countless fashionistas along the way.


Hispanic music is loved the world over. There are literally thousands of names we could’ve chosen! Although it’s incredibly diverse, Hispanic music is often associated with upbeat, vibrant sounds and rhythms that inspire dancing. Check out our Spotify playlist filled with our favorite Hispanic artists titled “Buena Música.”

Our picks for Hispanic musicians:

Camila Cabello (1997–): The vivacious and talented Camila Cabello, born in Cuba, skyrocketed to fame as part of Fifth Harmony before embarking on a successful solo career, mesmerizing fans with her powerful vocals and relatable songwriting.

Selena Quintanilla (1971–1995): The vibrant and beloved Selena Quintanilla, born in Texas, captured the hearts of millions with her energetic performances and catchy tunes, becoming an icon of Latin music and leaving a lasting legacy that continues to inspire new generations.

Bruno Mars (1985–): The multitalented and charismatic Bruno Mars, with Filipino and Puerto Rican roots, effortlessly combines pop, R&B, and funk, enchanting audiences worldwide with his infectious melodies and electrifying stage presence.

Rosalía (1992–): The boundary-pushing and visionary Rosalía, hailing from Spain but with Latin American heritage, fuses flamenco with contemporary pop, creating a mesmerizing and unique sound that has captivated the global music scene.

Becky G (1997–): The dynamic and fierce Becky G, of Mexican descent, burst onto the music scene with her infectious hits and empowering lyrics, showcasing her versatility as a rapper, singer, and all-around entertainer.


This is another list that could’ve been a thousand names long. Yardbarker have a cool “Top 20” blog that’s worth checking out if you’d like even more Hispanic stars of the sporting world.

Our picks for Hispanic sports players:

Monica Puig (1993–): The Puerto Rican tennis star, Monica Puig, made history by winning the first-ever Olympic gold medal for Puerto Rico in any sport, showcasing her talent, resilience, and unwavering spirit on the international stage.

Lionel Messi (1987–): The magician from Argentina, Lionel Messi, is known for his lightning-fast footwork, mesmerizing skills, and sensational goals. Although debated, many fans consider him the greatest soccer player to ever play the beautiful game.

Laurie Hernandez (2000–): The dynamic gymnast Laurie Hernandez, of Puerto Rican descent, burst onto the scene as part of the “Final Five” U.S. gymnastics team at the 2016 Olympics, showcasing her incredible skills and infectious personality. With her gravity-defying flips and captivating performances, she continues to inspire young gymnasts and make a mark in the sport.

Willy and Juancho Hernangómez (1994 and 1995–): These Spanish brothers are both certified NBA ballers. Juancho is known for his versatility as a forward, showcasing scoring ability from beyond the arc and athleticism on both ends of the court. Willy is a skilled center with post-scoring ability, rebounding prowess, and high basketball IQ. 

Jessica Mendoza (1980–): The trailblazing and insightful Jessica Mendoza, of Mexican descent, shatters glass ceilings as a pioneering female baseball analyst, using her expertise and passion to bring a fresh perspective to the game and inspire a new generation of baseball fans.

Stage and Screen

Last, but not least, we turn to Hispanic people who have lit up the stage and screen. Looking for more Hispanic and Latinx actors? IMDB have a list with over 200 stars — check it out! 

Our picks for Hispanic actors:

Eiza González (1990–): The talented and versatile Eiza González, hailing from Mexico, has made a name for herself with roles in films like “Baby Driver” and “Hobbs & Shaw,” delighting audiences with her charisma and captivating performances.

Pedro Pascal (1975–): The Chilean and American actor known for his roles in “Game of Thrones” and “The Mandalorian,” captivates audiences with his powerful performances, presence, and ability to bring depth to every character he portrays.

Xolo Mariduena (2001–): The young and talented Xolo Mariduena, of Mexican, Cuban, and Ecuadorian descent, has been making waves with his portrayal of Miguel Diaz in the popular TV series “Cobra Kai,” showcasing his martial arts skills and capturing audiences with his charisma and strong presence on screen.

Melissa Barrera (1990–): The vibrant and talented Mexican actor has been making her mark with roles in TV series like “Vida” and the film adaptation of “In the Heights,” captivating audiences with her powerful vocals and magnetic performances.

Diego Tinoco (1997–): The charismatic and promising Diego Tinoco, of Mexican, Ecuadorian, and Colombian descent, gained recognition for his role as Cesar Diaz in the hit TV series “On My Block,” showcasing his talent, emotional range, and ability to connect with audiences.

This blog only scratches the surface of the immense contribution that Hispanic people have made to all walks of life. We hope that you and your students have lots of fun discussing the Hispanic people you admire and enjoy celebrating them for their successes.

So, from Kami, Happy Hispanic Heritage Month and ¡Hasta Luego! (Until next time!)

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