National Hispanic Heritage Month Celebrated Throughout Colorado
Hispanic Heritage Month began Saturday, September 15 and continues through October 15. Hispanos have been an important part of Colorado history since the sixteenth century, when Spanish explorers roamed the Southwest in search of gold. Ever since, the Hispanic community has made many contributions to the history of our state.
Pioneers were coming to Colorado long before the gold rush of the 1850s. After declaring independence from Spain in 1821, Mexico took possession of the majority of present-day Colorado.
By the late 1840s, southern people of mixed Mexican and Native American ancestry successfully settled on the Colorado lands given to them by the Mexican government. Creating distinct communities that reflected their Spanish culture, these southern pioneers thrived on the fertile Colorado lands, sheep herding and farming.
By the early 1900s, however, the increasing Anglo population began to change the landscape of these communities. Many of the early Hispanic settlers left their original settlements to work as guards, miners, and laborers throughout the state. The rich heritage of these early pioneers, however, has not disappeared and today and can be seen in various places including the San Luis Valley and the state’s oldest town, San Luis.
Check out the resources available at the Colorado State Publications Library
The Colorado Virtual Library, a project of the Colorado State Library, has biographies available on famous Hispanic Coloradans, including:
- Felipe Baca, rancher and town founder
- Casimiro Barela, state legislator
- Rudolfo “Corky” Gonzalez, activitst
- Federico Peña, Mayor of Denver
- Teresita Sandoval, early settler
- Juana Suaso Simpson, early settler
In Pueblo, Colorado State University-Pueblo is celebrating with several events to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month:
SATURDAY, SEPT. 22
MEChA’s Balle Para La Raza Celebration, OUC Ballroom, 6 to 8 p.m. reception, 8 p.m. dance, $15 before the event/Antes del evento/$20 at the door/Al entra
THURSDAY SEPT. 27
Night of Fiction with Rich Yanez, 7 p.m., LARC 109
FRIDAY, SEPT. 28
Spanglish Day, 10 a.m. (The Talk) All Day (Spanglish Day), Technology 234
WEDNESDAY, OCT. 3
“SOLDADOS Chicanos in Viet Nam,” Charley Trujillo, noon to 1:30 p.m. DRC, OUC 031, first 20 students will receive a free video or book of SOLDADO
THURSDAY, OCT 11
Traditional Hispanic Games, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., DRC, OUC 031, prizes and pizza
Film: “No rest for the wicked” (No Habra paz para los malvados) with an introduction by Dr. Antonio Rueda, 7 p.m., John L. Garcia Language Center, Psychology 147