Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15 by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of Americans whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. During National Hispanic Heritage Month, we celebrate the generations of Hispanic and Latino Americans who have positively influenced and enriched our nation and society. The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988, on the approval of Public Law 100-402.
Join us all month as we recognize the contributions made and the important presence of Hispanic and Latino Americans to the United States and celebrate their heritage and culture.
Sones de México: A Musical Geography of Mexico
Sunday, September 17 at 2:00 p.m.
Take a guided musical tour around Mexico with Sones de México, a Grammy-nominated folk music ensemble specializing in Mexican ‘son’ including the regional styles of huapango, gustos, chilenas, son jarocho, and more. The group was formed in Chicago’s historic Pilsen neighborhood in 1994 to keep the tradition of Mexican ‘son’ alive in its many regional forms. Join us as we welcome this internationally-renowned musical group to our Library and celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month! This program is sponsored by the Bensenville Arts Council.
All Things Flags: Papel Picado Pennants and the National Flags of Latin America
Tuesday, September 26 at 7:00 p.m.
We’re celebrating Hispanic Heritage month by taking a look at the various flags in Latin culture. Come out to the Library and learn about the different decorative symbols used in Latin countries when creating papel picado – the Mexican art of making flags out of colorful paper. We’ll also have some different national flags from Latin countries that you can color and cut out. Registration is not required to attend, but space is limited. Participation is on a first-come, first-served basis.
Tuesday, October 3 at 7:00 p.m.
Latin Cuisine contains a diverse mixture of ingredients, seasoning, and techniques that have been drawn from many different cultures; from people native to the Americas and Europe as well as even more distant places like Asia and Africa. Come to the Library and taste some of these different Latin foods! Registration is not required to attend, but space is limited. Participation is on a first-come, first-served basis.
Traditional Mariachi Music
Saturday, October 7 at 2:00 p.m.
Did you know that the tradition of Mariachi music dates back as far back as the 18th century in parts of western Mexico? Mariachi (also called son style music) was recognized in 2011 by UNESCO as an aspect of Mexico’s intangible cultural heritage because of its connection to Mexico’s identity. In celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, the Library honors this tradition by presenting live mariachi music by local musician Sam Guerrero.
A Night of Dominoes
Tuesday, October 10 at 7:00 p.m.
Though the game of dominoes originated as far back the Yuan Dynasty in the 1300s, the game is enormously popular in the Latin world, especially Cuba. There are many different ways to play the game, but we’ll be focusing on the rules traditionally used in Cuba.
Mexican Cuisine: Breads and Desserts
Tuesday, October 17 at 7:00 p.m.
When the Spanish came to the Americas they brought with them a variety of staples of European culture that were previously unknown to the Native American people. One of these things was wheat. In the centuries that followed, baking bread and pastries from wheat became part of the Latin American tradition. Join us as we honor this tradition with a sampling of traditional Mexican baked goods!
Day of the Dead: DIY Calaveras
Tuesday, October 24 at 7:00 p.m.
The Day of the Dead (or Día de los Muertos) is an important holiday in Mexican culture. During its observance on November 1, family and friends gather to pray for their dead loved ones’ journey in the afterlife. There are parades, food, and ceremonial alters created to honor dead relatives. One traditional offering left on alters are intricately decorated Calaveras, or skulls. In this activity we will be painting small ceramic Calaveras in the traditional Mexican style. Registration is not required to attend, but space is limited. Participation is on a first-come, first-served basis.
Hispanic Heritage Film Festival
In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month the Library, in collaboration with the Village of Bensenville and the Bensenville Theatre, will present the following films in Spanish (with English subtitles) on Mondays at 7:00 pm at the Bensenville Theatre:
The Bensenville Theatre is located at 9 S. Center Street in Bensenville.
Local Children’s Author and Storyteller: R.C. Ontiveros
Wednesday, October 4 at 6:30 p.m.
Join the Bensenville Public Library and Bensenville School District 2 for a very special event celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month and the Halloween season as we welcome local children’s author and storyteller R.C. Ontiveros. Ontiveros’ recent book La Bruja Que No Fue A La Escuela (The Witch Who Never Went to School) has received rave reviews and follows a young witch as she explores her local public library and discovers a love of learning and reading through old potions and spells. The program will be hosted at the Bensenville Public Library and District 2 will be distributing 100 free copies of Ontiveros’ book to those attending the program. This will be a bilingual presentation. No registration is required to attend, but space is limited. Please contact the Library for more details.