rom September 15 to October 15, our country celebrates National Hispanic Heritage month. Hispanic culture has enriched the American way of life along with the way of the world from spicy cuisine, to the vibrant sounds of bachata, salsa and merengue. This diverse cultural community has provided our nation with a number of notable activists, artists, authors, athletes, scientists, political leaders and much more. Here are a few men and women who left their marks on our society.
Cesar Chavez, American labor leader and civil rights activist, co-founded the National Farm Workers Association. He organized and led the Delano grape strike, the most successful boycott in U.S. history with 17 million American participants. This led to better working conditions, the right to unionize, and access to health care and pensions.
Lin-Manuel Miranda, of Puerto-Rican descent, is a renowned American composer, playwright, librettist, songwriter and actor. He is most famous for two of his Broadway hits, In the Heights a story of the vibrant Hispanic community in Washington Heights, NY, and Hamilton the hip-hop musical of the life of Treasury Secretary and US founding father, Alexander Hamilton. Miranda is the winner of multiple Tony and Grammy Awards, is a Kennedy Center Honors recipient and a Pulitzer Prize winner for Drama.
Ellen Ochoa became the first Hispanic woman in space in 1993. After four missions, she’s spent about 1,000 hours in orbit total.
Jorge Ramos is a Mexican-born American journalist, author and notable anchor for Univision. He’s one of the most influential people in the U.S., lovingly called the “Walter Cronkite of Latin America.”
Sonia Sotomayor became the first Latina Supreme Court Justice in U.S. history, nominated by President Barack Obama in 2009.