Monday, September 14, 2015

Hispanic Heritage Month

Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 is National Hispanic Heritage Month at Kimbel Library. First observed in 1968, National Hispanic Heritage Month recognizes the rich heritage, culture and contributions of Hispanics and Latinos in the United States. The celebration coincides with the independence days of several Latin American countries, including El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica (all September 15), Mexico (September 16), and Chile (September 18).

According to the 2014 Census, more than 50 million people identify as Hispanic or Latino in the U.S., making up 17 percent of the national population. In South Carolina, Hispanics make up 5.3 percent of the population. At Coastal Carolina University, more than 300 Undergraduate and Graduate students identify as Hispanic, making up nearly 3.6 percent of the University’s total enrollment.

Interestingly, South Carolina’s own Spanish history goes all the way back to the 1500s, when colonists led by Lucas Vázquez de Ayllón briefly settled the area near present-day Georgetown and Pawleys Island. The Spanish also established Santa Elena on Parris Island, near present-day Beaufort. Initially settled by the French, Santa Elena served as the first capital of Spanish Florida from 1566 to 1587.

Kimbel Library has a wide selection of books and films by Hispanics and Latinos, including Gabriel García Márquez (Colombia), Jorge Luis Borges (Argentina), Julio Cortázar (Argentina), Pablo Neruda (Chile), Carlos Fuentes (Mexico), Octavio Paz (Mexico), Mario Vargas Llosa (Peru), Isabel Allende (Chile), Julia Alvarez (Dominican Republic), Sandra Cisneros (Mexico), Alejandro González Iñárritu (Mexico), Guillermo del Toro (Mexico), and others, all available for checkout. Check out the books and films on display at the library this month to celebrate and learn about Hispanic heritage!

[Image courtesy CultureALL]

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