September 24, 2021
Hispanic Heritage Month was first observed on September 15, 1968, by former U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson to celebrate the independence of five Latin American nations: Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Costa Rica. Over the years, it evolved into a month-long celebration between September 15 and October 15 to celebrate the many contributions made by all Latin Americans in the U.S. and their cultures.
This year, the afternoon ELL (English Language Learners) classes at MCPL talked about how they were celebrating the month-long holiday. The most common response was getting together with their families and eating traditional foods with them. Each student shared a popular dish from their country and who in their family made it the best. Most of the time it was an abuelita (grandma) or tia (aunt) who had the best recipe.
In my family, my mom has the best sazón, meaning she makes the best food. Even though she doesn’t have a recipe book of Ecuadorian dishes, she tends to remember most by heart and is a pretty good cook. If she doesn’t remember how to make something, she calls one of my tias (aunts), and they remind her to add a dash of this or a dash of that, and how to make sure it comes out great. You can catch her dancing to Selena or Elvis Crespo while she cooks some of our family’s favorites, especially during the holidays. Bolones for breakfast (plantain and cheese balls), yapingacho for dinner (rice, potato cakes, sausage, peanut sauce, and our version of salsa), and flan for dessert, are some of my favorite Ecuadorian dishes.
For this Hispanic Heritage Month, I suggest you visit several amazing restaurants in the city that make Mexican, Salvadorian, Central American, and South American foods. Some of my favorites include: Bonito Michoacán in KCK, Sabor Latino in Lee’s Summit, and El Salvadoreño in Overland Park. You never know what new dish you might just make your new favorite! If you’d like to try making new dishes at home, the Library has many cookbooks in its collection and a variety of cooking classes in its online resources.
You can also explore the Library’s catalog for Hispanic Heritage Month reads for all ages. Here are a few staff-curated book lists to get you started:
- Let's Celebrate Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month (Adult)
- Hispanic Heritage Month for Teens
- Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month (Children)
Also, be sure to tune in to our virtual Crown Crafted Concert Series on September 29 for a performance by Mariachi Estrella KC.
Happy Hispanic Heritage Month!
Community Programming Department
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