People talk and eat behind flags of Latin American countries hanging in the foreground
Features & Articles

A monthlong celebration will mark the rich heritage of Pittsburgh’s Latinx and Hispanic communities

  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Our City/Our Campus
  • Center for Latin American Studies

Members of Pittsburgh’s Latinx and Hispanic communities will celebrate their histories, cultural contributions and visions for the future as well as their differences as the University of Pittsburgh and other institutions mark Latinx and Hispanic Heritage Month.

Events include an exhibit of environmental photos taken by local Latino residents and musical performances in and around Oakland.

Although people of Latino and Hispanic heritage represent the largest ethnic group in the United States, they are not a monolith, said Associate Vice Provost for Inclusive Excellence in Education Belkys Torres, who chairs the University-wide committee coordinating Latinx and Hispanic Heritage Month events.

“There are more than 20 different nationalities from Latin America, South America and the Caribbean represented by the umbrella terms Latinx or Hispanic,” Torres said. “There are common cultural and linguistic ties, but the differences can be profound as well. And within each nationality, there are intersecting identities. Someone’s lived experiences as a member of the Latinx community are shaped by their gender, their race, their religion, and many other factors — and those are just some of the issues we’ll be exploring with events this month.”

Recognized in the United States since 1968, the start of Latinx and Hispanic Heritage Month — Sept. 15 — marks the date that several Latin American countries, including Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Hondura and Nicaragua, obtained their independence from Spain. Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence on Sept. 16 and Sept. 18, respectively.

Over the past 10 years, the percentage of Pittsburgh-area residents who identify as having Latinx and Hispanic heritage has increased by more than 80%, said Doreen Hernández, assistant director of the Johnson Institute for Responsible Leadership and Frances Hesselbein Leadership Forum at the University of Pittsburgh and co-founder of the Hispanic Latinx Professional Association. Hernández, who co-founded Pitt’s Hispanix Latinx Professional Association and also serves on the committee coordinating Latinx and Hispanic Heritage Month, said several events also are designed to provide networking and professional development opportunities for residents of Latinx and Hispanic descent.

Upcoming events at Pitt

Latino Voices for the Environment

This exhibit — sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Regional Public Health Training Center, the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy and Pitt’s School of Public Health — includes local environmental photos taken by Latino and Latinx residents of Western Pennsylvania.

When: On display through Sept. 22

Where: Frick Park Environmental Center, 2005 Beechwood Blvd., Pittsburgh, PA, 15217

A book discussion on “Lulu and Milagro’s Search for Clarity”

This critically acclaimed young-adult novel by Peruvian American author and Pitt alumna Angela Velez (A&S ’19G) follows the adventures of two Latinx girls on a road trip and was featured on NBC’s “Today” show.

When: Friday, Sept. 15, 6 p.m.

Where: Alumni Hall, seventh-floor auditorium, 4227 Fifth Ave., Pittsburgh, PA, 15260

Charla y Baila

Join the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Office of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement for this speaker series led by Latinx and Hispanic faculty, staff and students. Then, stick around and learn dance moves with Los Sabrosos Dance Co. Catering will be provided by Tango Argentinian Restaurant and Food Truck.

When: Tuesday, Sept. 19, 6 p.m.

Where: SHRS Wellness Pavilion at the Homewood Community Engagement Center, 622 N Homewood Ave., Pittsburgh, PA, 15208

41st Annual Latin American and Caribbean Festival

Sponsored by Pitt’s Center for Latin American Studies, the free event will include craft and food vendors, informational tables and live music and dance performances from 10 different organizations.

When: Saturday, Sept. 23, 2-8 p.m.

Where: Wesley W. Posvar Hall, 230 S Bouquet St., Pittsburgh, PA, 15213

Marketing 101 for Pittsburgh Latinx Businesses: Leveraging Press and Media

Join the Pitt Small Business Development Center and the University Library System for a panel discussion with Pittsburgh’s top Hispanic media companies. Attendees will get valuable advice on how to improve your marketing strategy to better reach target customers. Registration is required.

When: Monday, Oct. 9, noon

Where: This is a virtual event.

Visit the full calendar of Pitt’s Latinx and Hispanic Heritage Month events.

Upcoming events in Pittsburgh

Other events of interest in the Pittsburgh area during Latinx and Hispanic Heritage Month include:

Hispanic Heritage Community Festival

It’s the city’s first celebration of Hispanic culture, empowerment and unity, presented by the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation and UC Entertainment.

When: Saturday, Sept. 30, 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m.

Where: Heinz History Center, 1212 Smallman St., Pittsburgh, PA, 15222

Dia de Bomba y Plena

A celebration of Roberto Clemente’s 3000th hit.

When: Saturday, Sept. 30, 1-4 p.m.

Where: Roberto Clemente Museum, 3339 Penn Ave., Pittsburgh, PA, 15201


See a live concert by this Puerto Rican rapper and singer.

When: Saturday, Sept. 30, 8 p.m.

Where: PPG Paints Arena, 1001 Fifth Ave., Pittsburgh, PA, 15219


— Jason Togyer, photography by Emily O'Donnell