Dancers from the Austin High School Ballet Folklorico perform on the floor of the Texas State Capitol rotund during the annual Diez y Seis de Septiembre celebration, sponsored by State Sen. Kirk Watson and State Rep. Eddie, in 2014.

While Mexico celebrates its Independence Day on Sept. 16, several other Latin American countries also celebrate their independence next month. Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua all have Independence Days on Sept. 15. Chile celebrates on Sept. 18 and Belize on Sept. 21.

All of these days coincide with the start of National Hispanic Heritage Month in the U.S., which runs from Sept. 15-Oct. 15 and recognizes the contributions of Hispanics in America. The Hispanic Heritage Center of Texas, which is located in San Antonio, is currently seeking authentic photos, documents, paintings, audio recordings or film dating back to Texas’ beginnings to preserve family heritage and history. If you’d like to share your story, visit

Americans have been celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month since President Ronald Reagan expanded Hispanic Heritage Week in 1988.

During the month, keep an eye out for special programming at schools, cultural centers, libraries and museums.

Austin’s PBS station KLRU plans to offer several documentaries both online and on television including a profile on the life of popular Mexican-American writer Rudolfo Anaya, which will air at 10:30 p.m. Sept. 21. It’ll also premiere the documentary “On Two Fronts: Latinos & Vietnam,” which tells the story of two siblings who stood on opposite sides of the Vietnam War, at 9 p.m. Sept. 22.

Do you know of other events celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month? Let us know in the comments section.