The Hispanic Heritage Council of Western New York, Inc. is a non-profit organization that exists to foster and inspire awareness, understanding, and appreciation of past, present, and future contributions of the Hispanic community in Western New York. Hispanics have been part of the fabric of the Western New York community since the late 1800s. They arrived, like many other immigrants, as non-English speakers with the hope of someday becoming citizens and contributors to this great area called Western New York. Today’s Hispanics in WNY continue the tradition of their forbearers by contributing their professional expertise in both the private and public sectors. Hispanics in this area are leaders in the fields of education, medicine, law, government, communications, business, finance, sports, art, music and the military.
Each year, the contributions of Hispanic Americans are recognized and celebrated during Hispanic Heritage Month. September 15th was chosen as the starting point for the celebration because it is the anniversary of the independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. They all declared independence in 1821. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September 18, respectively. The month-long celebration ends on October 15th each year. In Western New York, the Hispanic Heritage Council leads the way in ensuring that Hispanic culture is celebrated and preserved during the annual Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations and throughout the year.