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Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with artists, families, entrepreneurs, students and more

September 15 to October 15 is a time to recognize and celebrate the culture, history and traditions of people of Hispanic descent.

ARIZONA, USA — Hispanic Heritage Month originally started off as just a week of celebration in 1968. President Ronald Reagan expanded the period of recognition to a month to recognize the nation's largest ethnic or racial minority group.

Interested in reading the Spanish version of our news stories? Check out the 12 News en Español Facebook page.

Aired September 14, 2021.

Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala declared their independence from Spain about 200 years ago. 

The celebration is filled with music, dancing, traditions, recognition, and advocacy.

Read the full story here

Aired September 16, 2021.

Mexico gained its independence from Spain 211 years ago. Cinco de Mayo is sometimes confused as Mexican Independence Day, but the day the 11-year war between Spain and Mexico came to an end was September 16, 1821. 

This day is often filled with fireworks, music, traditional foods, and national pride.

Read the full story here.  

Aired September 17, 2021.

About one in five people in the U.S. are Hispanic. The identity of being Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish is often interchanged. We break down and identify the difference between these three terms.

Read the full story here.

Aired September 20, 2021.

A local artist who was born and raised in Mexico uses a color palette specific to his memories in his work. 

The artist's exhibit is being displayed at the Children's Museum of Phoenix throughout Hispanic Heritage Month. 

Aired September 30, 2021.

The Quetzalli-az Dance Studio in Mesa practices ballet folkórico- a traditional Mexican dance. 

The historic dance brings Mexican culture and history to life through outfits, music and dance. 

Read the full story here

Aired September 20, 2021.

About a dozen students in the valley came together to paint a mural that says, "Unite." 

Each letter featured different community representations in an effort to bring the community together. 

Aired September 22, 2021.

Lotería is a traditional Mexican game similar to Bingo. 

This game is constantly evolving to include pictures of the latest trends, memes and events.

Read the full story here.

Aired September 24, 2021.

The Quinceañara is an important milestone for Hispanic households. 

The celebration is for a girl's 15th birthday symbolizing her entrance into womanhood. 

Read the full story here

Aired September 27, 2021.

The Hispanic music genre, mariachi, is often male-dominated. 

An all-female mariachi group is breaking gender norms by playing the guitar, trumpet, violin and flute all while singing. 

Read the full story here

Aired September 29, 2021.

An ASU psychology professor talks about the importance of counselors who are culturally aware of the Hispanic community.

A challenge the Hispanic community faces is a lack of access to mental health care. 

Read the full story here

Aired October 1, 2021.

Armando Castro, a Mesa native, was the only Latino driver that participated in the Monster Jam at State Farm Stadium. 

Castro said he is living his childhood dream by performing with 'El Toro Loco' at his first US stadium debut.

Aired October 1, 2021.

The Mujeres Mercado welcomes thousands of shoppers to a market of over 50 Latino-owned businesses selling a variety of products rich in culture and traditions. 

Money spent at the market stays in the community- some of the money helps other Latina entrepreneurs by providing workshops and mentorship.

Read the full story here

Aired October 2, 2021.

Nycole Leyba was recognized by the East Valley Hispanic Chamber of Commerce for creating We Run Mesa, a kids running club that also involves first responders. 

Leyba said she wants to help with health and wellness, but also connect children with police and firefighters in the community.

Read the full story here

Aired October 4, 2021.

ASU Instructor, David Olarte, hosted Latin dance classes at the Duce. 

Olarte said that Salsa dancing is beautiful because it allows people from all around the world to "bring their own salsa" into the dance space.

Aired October 6, 2021.

Daniel Ruiz is emerging as a leader in the Valley as the governor's Chief of Staff. After growing up in the Maryvale neighborhood, Ruiz earned his current position based on his hard work alone.

He said that family, faith and work are integral parts of his culture, and he plans to pass that culture on to his son.

Read the full story here

Aired October 11, 2021.

The Tamale Store is a wildly successful local business known for making, selling and "perfecting the art" of tamales. 

The Tamale store is Martha Castillo's masterpiece- she and her children built the store together. They emphasize the importance of family and passing down Hispanic heritage to future generations. 

Read the full story here

Aired October 13, 2021.

The National Association of Hispanic Nurses recruits Hispanic nurses and focuses on caring for under-served communities. 

The group also focuses on communication and representation in Spanish-speaking areas. 

Read the full story here

Aired October 15, 2021

Lucha libre, or Mexican wrestling, is one of Mexico's largest forms of entertainment. Traditional luchadores wear a mask to conceal their identity. 

The sport has been a part of the Mexican heritage for about 160 years. 

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