Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Wonder Team. Wonder Team Wonders, “Who is an abuela?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Wonder Team!

Do you have a favorite day of the year? Would you choose your birthday? Maybe your favorite day is a holiday your family celebrates. Here at Wonderopolis, we have a hard time choosing! But one of our favorite days is definitely September 15. Why? It’s the start of Hispanic Heritage Month, of course!

Starting in 1968, America observed Hispanic Heritage Week. Then, in 1988, President Ronald Reagan expanded the event to a month. Since then, the U.S. has observed Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 until October 15 each year.

What is the purpose of this month-long celebration? It honors the cultures and contributions of people of Hispanic or Latinx descent. If that includes you, Hispanic Heritage Month is a great time to celebrate your ancestry. If not, it’s a time to learn. It’s a chance to acknowledge the history and contributions of Hispanic and Latinx people.

Why does Hispanic Heritage Month start on September 15? If you’ve read about the Grito de Dolores, you may have a pretty good guess! September 15 is an important day in Mexico’s celebration of independence. It’s also the anniversary of independence for five other Latin American countries. These include Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua.

Hispanic culture includes a diverse group of people from many different regions around the world. Still, many Hispanic people share some things in common. For instance, Spanish is the native language of Hispanic cultures.

Many people from Hispanic and Latinx cultures also have close-knit families. One important member of most Hispanic families is the abuela or abuelita (grandmother). In fact, a 2018 report shared that 85 percent of abuelas and abuelos (grandfathers) are highly engaged with their families.

In most Hispanic families, grandparents are respected family members. They share knowledge about family history. Abuelas and abuelos are also seen as sources of wisdom, friendship, and storytelling. Many grandparents choose to live with or near their children. They often play an important role in passing their language along to their grandchildren, as well.

Who is your abuela? Do you have great memories of time you’ve spent with your grandparents? What have you learned from them? Maybe you’re lucky enough to have an abuela or abuelo close by. If so, spend time today telling them just how much you appreciate them!

Standards: CCRA.L.3, CCRA.L.6, CCRA.R.1, CCRA.R.2, CCRA.R.4, CCRA.R.10, CCRA.SL.1, CCRA.W.2, CCRA.W.4, CCRA.L.1, CCRA.L.2

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