Observe Hispanic Heritage Month in Tallahassee with these significant sites and celebrations!
A brief history of Hispanic Heritage Month
Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated from September 15th to October 15th every year, and recognizes the achievements, contributions, community and most importantly, how the U.S. Latinx and Hispanic culture has inspired others to achieve success.
The date of Hispanic Heritage Month holds meaning. September 15th is the start date because of the five nations that declared their independence from Spain in 1821. These five nations were Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.
Former President George H.W. Bush expanded this celebration from a week to a month saying, “The rich ethnic heritage of Hispanic Americans gives us cause to celebrate because it is a proud and colorful portion of our Nation’s heritage… This month, as we recognize the many achievements of Hispanic Americans, we also recall the universal appeal of the American ideal of freedom and opportunity for all.”
Let’s take a look at a few special sites and celebrations here in Tallahassee that you can partake in to honor Hispanic Heritage Month.
Mission San Luis is an Apalachee-Spanish Living History Museum that transports you to the year 1703. It is the only reconstructed Spanish mission in Florida. The staff shares the stories of its former Apalachee and Spanish residents. On site you will learn about the history, skills, and activities that were utilized in the 17th century. Head to Mission San Luis celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and explore the native culture and Spanish colonization during this time period.
Spanish conquistador Hernando de Soto and his expedition occupied land right here in Tallahassee, Florida. De Soto and his men camped near the heart of Tallahassee during the winter of 1540-1541. When they arrived, the location was home to the Native American village of Anhaica Apalache. This was one of the principal villages of the Apalachee Nation. Today, the site is a state-owned park that preserves and honors the grounds of where De Soto and his men camped. Anyone can visit the park during daylight hours and entry is at no cost.
Maria Maria is located in Midtown Tallahassee and offers some of the most authentic Mexican cuisine in the area. The owner, Edgar Gomez, traces the origin of the restaurant back to a town in Mexico called La Yerbabuena. In this little town is where Edgar’s grandmother sold her homemade tostadas in order to make ends meet. When he moved to Florida, he had a dream to open up his own Mexican restaurant. Eventually, he turned his dream into a reality. Maria Maria has food that is undeniably true to its culture, and most importantly honors its heritage!
Venebites offers some of the best homemade, high quality, and authentic Venezuelan food right here in Tallahassee. They opened in 2019 and offer a variety of Venezuelan dishes such as Arepas, Empanadas, Cachitos, Tequeños and Sancochos. It is a place where you can enjoy delicious food, but also where you can learn more about the culture. Their fresh and comfortable atmosphere is where everyone can enjoy a taste of Venezuela.
Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations & events
Florida State University celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month at FSU’s 3rd Annual Latinx Cultural Celebration in 2021. This celebration is one that pays tribute to the generations of Latinx Americans. They have positively affected our historical, political, and economic context in the United States. It brings the community of Tallahassee together to enhance cultural awareness, increase knowledge of significant contributions, and share untold stories of the Latinx community.
Significant individuals are valued and celebrated during the event. One such person is Rosalia Gonzales. Rosalia was the first Latinx student to graduate from FSU. She is recognized for her engagement in academic excellence and social involvement on campus. In short, this celebration is a beautiful one and takes place during Hispanic Heritage Month.
Tallahassee Community College recognizes Hispanic Heritage Month and its significance. To celebrate the month, the College put together a list of virtual activities for all to explore. Some of these activities include blog posts, a National Archives Pinterest board and collections from the Library of Congress. Check out their website to learn and celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month virtually!
Stay in touch with the Hispanic Community here in Tallahassee by connecting with these local groups on Facebook:
The contributions to our society made by the Hispanic and Latinx community is something that should be widely recognized and celebrated. It is a month where the community of Tallahassee celebrates the history and culture of past and present. Make sure to check out the historic sites, celebrations and delicious dining options during this month of celebration and year-round.