SMCC celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month 2023

National Hispanic Heritage Month runs annually from September 15 through October 15 and celebrates the Latino community and their histories, cultures, and contributions.

What does Hispanic Mean?

Hispanic refers to a person with ancestry from a country whose primary language is Spanish, or who is descended from Spanish-speaking populations. These include Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Spain, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

What does Latino mean?

Latino and its variations refer to a person who was born in Latin America and the Caribbean (Cuba, Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico).

What does Latinx mean?

Latinx is a gender-neutral term to refer to people of Latin American cultural or ethnic identity in the United States. It is similar to Latina/Latino, but is gender neutral.

During this month SMCC will recognize and bring awareness to Latinx people, both past and present. Here are some of the events that will be hosted by Student Life:

Hispanic Heritage Month Info & Coloring Station

September 15th All Day, L.L.Bean Learning Commons (Midcoast) or the Campus Center Noisy Lounge (South Portland)

Stop by our Info & Coloring station in the L.L.Bean Learning Commons (Midcoast) or the Campus Center Noisy Lounge (South Portland) to learn more about Hispanic Heritage Month, which starts today!

Hispanic Heritage Month Crossword

Complete and return to the Student Life office in Spring Point Hall or the Front Desk in the LL Bean Learning Commons by the end of Hispanic Heritage Month for the chance to win a prize!

Hispanic Heritage Month Display at the South Portland Learning Commons

The Learning Commons will feature a display of books about Hispanic Culture and Latinx authors in the Silent Study Area.

Hispanic Changemakers

September 15th – October 15th

Profiles of historic Hispanic change makers will be on display in the Campus Center Noisy Lounge.

Tuesdays in Noisy – Trivia Night

September 26th 7 PM in the Campus Center Noisy Lounge

Participate in trivia with the chance to win prizes. Bring a team or attempt to dominate on your own. This month’s trivia will feature questions regarding Hispanic Heritage. Please come prepared with a writing instrument.

Cuban Dominos

October 3rd 3:00 PM in Campus Center Noisy Lounge

Join us to learn how to play Cuban Dominos, a very popular game in Cuba! Winners get to enjoy prizes.


National Hispanic Heritage

National Education Association – Resources for K-12 Learning

Smithsonian – National Museum of the American Latino

NEWS CENTER Maine – Mi Gente: Our Stories

Maine Department of Education

Visit USA

La Bodega Latina – Portland, Maine

Other ways you can celebrate:

Visit Casita Corazon

158 Benjamin W Pickett St, South Portland, ME 04106

Located right off our South Portland campus, Casita Corazon is a great local restaurant featuring recipes and techniques from Jalisco, Mexico.

Virtual tour of the National Museum of the American Latino

A project of the Smithsonian, this museum is being building Washington, DC after being established by Congress. It explores Latinx identity and the experience of American Latinos. You may access it here.

Look Forward to:

Dia de los Muertos Altar

November 1st & 2nd

Honor your passed loved ones by featuring their photos and leaving ofrendas at the Altar located in the Campus Center across from the Advising Office and in the L.L.Bean Learning Commons. 

About El Dia de los Muertos, as described by The Smithsonian: 
“Día de los Muertos acknowledges the symbiotic relationship between life and death. El día de Los Muertos is celebrated on November 1st and November 2nd, in which the spirits of the dead are believed to return home and spend time with their relatives on these two days. To welcome them, the family build altars in their honor. These altars have a series of different components that vary from one culture to another that mostly include yellow marigolds, candles, photos of the deceased ones, papel picado or cut tissue-paper designs, as well as food and beverages offerings for the dead.”

Learn more here.