Celebrate Latino Heritage

Celebrating and honoring Latino Heritage
September 3, 2021
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Array of books celebrating Latino heritageThe Sacramento Public Library celebrates and honors Latino Heritage. In 1968, after years of advocacy from Mexican, Caribbean, Central, and South American communities, Hispanic Heritage Week became officially recognized in the United States, and in 1988 became known as Hispanic Heritage Month. Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated annually from September 15 to October 15, when many Latin, Central and South American countries celebrate their independence from Spain.

In Sacramento County, Latinos and Hispanics constitute nearly a quarter of the population, the library joins the Latino community in recognizing their rich cultural, economic, and societal contributions. Latino cultural heritage and influence includes more than Spanish language origins, its literary arts are shaped by the influence of Indigenous stories and cuentos that originated within thousands of Indigenous languages, histories, and thoughts. In Mexico alone, there are over 350 active languages and dialects that are pre-colonial in origin.

The term Latino is an ever evolving concept which is under significant evaluation and debate by scholars, community organizations and social justice advocates. We recognize that full celebration of Latino culture is to include all identities: political, gender, and cultural. In recognition of this diversity, the Sacramento Public Library supports inclusivity to all, including but not limited to, Afro-Latino, Afro-Latina, Afro-Latinx, Latina, Latino, Latinx, Latine, Chicano, Chicana, Chicanx, Mexica, Hispanic, Indigenous, Iberian and all beyond. 

We invite you to celebrate with us year round by exploring the great literary arts that are available in our catalogs, and over the next 5 weeks with special events from artists who have pushed forward the Latino identity narrative and represent the intersectionality of LGBTQ2S+, Latinx, Chicano/a/x and Mexica Culture, Social Justice, and #OwnVoice representation. 

Latino Heritage Events

Authors Uncovered with LAX to SAC Poets (September 22 at 6 p.m.)

Portraits of poets Yago S. Cura, Aideed Medina, and Norma Beatriz Sánchez Sánchez side by side.Authors Uncovered kicks off the Sacramento Public Library’s Latino Heritage 2021 Series with a virtual poetry reading and panel. Representing a wide range of Latinx/Chicanx identities, histories, and regions (Sacramento Valley, Fresno, San Diego, and Los Angeles). Poets Betty Sanchez, Aideed Medina, and Yago Cura will share their work and discuss the great joy and the complexities of Latino/a/x heritage.

Virtual Bilingual Family Painting with El Comalito Collective (September 25 at 2 p.m.)

El Comalito Collective logo.This bilingual painting workshop will include step-by-step guided instruction with positive reinforcement and validation. It will also include breathing exercises and coping strategies that will promote social, behavioral, and mental wellness. El Comalito Collective is an art gallery and community space in Vallejo, CA that showcases underrepresented artists through a variety of media that spark consciousness. El Comalito Collective creates networks that build support and foster opportunities for marginalized voices through works that explore the intersections of (but not limited to) race, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, and gender, through a decolonial lens. 

Virtual Piñata Making Workshop with Patty Botello (October 2 at 2 p.m.)

Patty Botellp
Create a mini piñata sculpture of a mango on a stick with Tajín seasoning. These mangoes will be three dimensional in form, using various piñata making techniques. This workshop will also focus on using recyclable items like cardboard and newspaper and giving these ordinary objects a new purpose. 


Virtual Bilingual Music Time with Mariela! (October 6 at 10:30 a.m.)

Mariela's Music Time logoSacramento Public Library is excited to welcome Mariela’s Music Time and her energetic and interactive bilingual performance. This special program will be filled with rhythms and multicultural sounds, along with the rich traditions of our region.

This program will stream on the library's Facebook page.


Authors Uncovered with Maceo Montoya (October 6 at 6 p.m.)

Portrait of Maceo Montoya.Authors Uncovered is proud to welcome California-based author, artist, and educator Maceo Montoya. His first novel, The Scoundrel and the Optimist, was awarded the 2011 International Latino Book Award for "Best First Book" and Latino Stories named him one of its "Top Ten New Latino Writers to Watch." In 2014, University of New Mexico Press published his second novel, The Deportation of Wopper Barraza, and Copilot Press published Letters to the Poet from His Brother, a hybrid book combining images, prose poems, and essays. Montoya is also the author and illustrator of Chicano Movement for Beginners, a work of graphic nonfiction, and 2021’s Preparatory Notes for Future Masterpieces. Moderated by Xico Gonzalez, a Sacramento-based artist, educator, and social justice advocate. 

Tween Comic Book Club (October 8 at 4 p.m.)

Chunky graphic novel cover.
Tweens ages 9 to 12 are invited to join librarians live for a Comic Book Club! This is a special Tween Comic Book Club event with a discussion about the graphic novel Chunky by Yehudi Mercado. 

This program will stream on the library's Facebook and YouTube pages.


Virtual Traditional Doll Making Workshop with Ramona Garcia (October 9 at 2 p.m.)

Romana Garcia portrait.Join Sacramento-based artist Ramona Garcia for an art workshop celebrating Mexican paper-mache dolls, tradition, and storytelling. In this workshop you will create your own doll using molded forms, strings, embellishments, and paint. You will also learn about the history of the paper-mâché  doll as a traditional and indigenous form of art from Mexico as well as its use with practices of art therapy. 

Jonny Garza Villa - Virtual YA / Teen Author Visit (October 16 at 2 p.m.)

Sacramento Public Library is honored to welcome YA author Jonny Garza Villa. They are an author of contemporary young adult literature inspired by their own Tejane & Chicane and queer identities. Whether they're writing about coming out in a Mexican American household, immigration, mariachi, or being in a brand new place for the first time, Jonny ultimately hopes Latine young people feel seen and at home in their writing. Jonny is the author of the multi-starred reviewed Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun and the upcoming sophomore YA, Ander and Santi Were Here.

This program will stream on the library's Facebook and YouTube pages.

Click the button below to reserve a free copy of Jonny's acclaimed book Fifteen Hundred Miles From The Sun, while supplies last.

Cooking at Home: Tortilla Soup (October 21 at 6 p.m.)

Colorful vegetables.
Join us for "Cooking at Home," presented by the Latino Leadership Council. Participants will learn about how food is an important part of Latino culture, and will prepare a nutritious and tasty plate of tortilla soup.

This program will be in Spanish.

Servicios en Español Disponibles en la Biblioteca

Learn about library services available in Spanish.
Su biblioteca ofrece libros y servicios en Español, además de bibliotecarios amables listos para ayudarle.

#OwnVoice Reading Recommendations

Celebrate Latino Heritage with us by reading books by Latino/a/x Heritage authors. The following #OwnVoice book lists were developed by the Sacramento Public Library’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Team. #OwnVoices specifies authors from under-represented and marginalized groups, who write from their own perspective and experiences. Author Corinne Duyvis is credited for starting the #OwnVoice movement in 2015.

The following titles are available for free immediate download on the Libby app during the time period specified below.

"Sabrina and Corina" book cover.Sabrina and Corina by Kali Fajardo-Anstine

Kali Fajardo-Anstine's magnetic story collection breathes life into her Latina characters of indigenous ancestry and the land they inhabit in the American West. Against the remarkable backdrop of Denver, Coloradoa place that is as fierce as it is exquisitethese women navigate the land the way they navigate their lives: with caution, grace, and quiet force.

Available for free immediate download September 16-22.

Book cover of "Furia."Furia by Yamile Saied Méndez

Seventeen-year-old Camila Hassan, a rising soccer star in Rosario, Argentina, dreams of playing professionally, in defiance of her fathers' wishes and at the risk of her budding romance with Diego.

Available for free immediate download September 23-29.

Book cover of "Portraits of Hispanic American Heroes."Portraits of Hispanic American Heroes by Juan Felipe Herrera, ill. by Raul Colón

Twenty Hispanic American artists, scientists, athletes, activists and political leaders are profiled in this stunning picture book, complete with inspirational quotes and distinctive expressionist portraits.

Available for free immediate download September 30 - October 6.

Book cover of "My Papi Has A Motorcycle."My Papi Has a Motorcycle by Isabel Quintero, ill. by Zeke Peña

When Daisy Ramona zooms around her neighborhood with her papi on his motorcycle, she sees the people and places she's always known. She also sees a community that is rapidly changing around her. But as the sun sets purple-blue-gold behind Daisy Ramona and her papi, she knows that the love she feels will always be there.

Available for free immediate download October 7-13.

For Adults
For Teens
For School Age Children
Picture Books

Local Latino Community Organizations

Brown Issues Sacramento
Brown Issues cultivates the next generation of Brown leaders through civic engagement, healing, and narrative change.

Escritores del Nuevo Sol/Writers of the New Sun
Escritores del Nuevo Sol/Writers of the New Sun is a group of bilingual artists, poets, and writers, with ties to the Sacramento region. Founded by the poets Francisco X. Alarcón and Art Mantecón.

Gender Health Center
Gender Health Center is a trans and POC-led, grassroots nonprofit organization located in Sacramento, CA. Gender Health Center (GHC) centers Queer and Trans People of Color (QTPOC) in their services, discussions, goals and vision.

La Familia Counseling Center
Their mission is to improve the quality of life for at-risk youth and families of diverse backgrounds by offering multicultural counseling, support and outreach services and programs to help families to overcome adversity, to become empowered, and to succeed in their lives.

Lavender Library
The Lavender Library is an all-volunteer-run lending library, archive and community space with LGBTQ+ books, films and more. A hub of learning and connection for Sacramento’s LGBTQ+ community.

Latino Center of Art and Culture
The mission of the Latino Center of Art and Culture is to foster artistic, economic and cultural development of the Sacramento region's Latinx community by presenting, exhibiting, and providing excellent artistic programs and services to Latinx artists, organizations and families. In this way, they actively seek social justice for marginalized and underrepresented Sacramento communities.

Latino Economic Council of Sacramento
The Latino Economic Council of Sacramento comprises civic, business and educational leaders who have come together to promote economic opportunity and upward mobility for Sacramento’s rapidly growing Latino population. 

Latino Leadership Council
Latino Leadership Council has advanced well-being in the Sacramento-Placer Latino community since 2007. The Latino Leadership Council is a non-profit organization dedicated to connecting Latino families to bilingual and bicultural services and advocating for wellness in the Latino community.

Latino Outdoors
Latino Outdoors is a unique Latinx-led organization working to create a national community of leaders in conservation and outdoor education. As part of this work, Latino Outdoors is focused on expanding and amplifying the Latinx experience in the outdoors; providing greater leadership, mentorship, and professional opportunities while serving as a platform for sharing cultural connections and narratives that are often overlooked by the traditional outdoor movement. It is a space for the community to be present, share our voices, and showcase how conservation roots have been ingrained in la cultura Latina for generations.

Established in 1971 as an affiliate of the American Library Association (ALA), REFORMA has actively sought to promote the development of library collections to include Spanish-language and Latino oriented materials; the recruitment of more bilingual and bicultural library professionals and support staff; the development of library services and programs that meet the needs of the Latino community; the establishment of a national information and support network among individuals who share goals; the education of the U.S. Latino population in regards to the availability and types of library services; and lobbying efforts to preserve existing library resource centers serving the interests of Latinos.

Royal Chicano Air Force Archives
This organization provides access to an extensive collection of slides and silkscreen prints, along with administrative records, news clippings, correspondence, exhibition descriptions and flyers, photographs, creative writings, and miscellaneous publications of the Sacramento-based artists collective.

Serna Center at Sacramento State University
The mission of the Serna Center is to promote, foster, and enhance leadership, empowerment, self-advocacy and civic engagement among Chicanxs/Latinxs students, but also, students from other under-represented backgrounds at Sacramento State. Additionally, integrated into all programming are efforts that raise awareness of the social, political, economic, historical and cultural realities of Chicanxs/Latinxs populations. The center establishes a strong foundation that enriches cultural identity and develops a sense of familia within the campus.

Sol Collective
Sol Collective pairs young creatives with professional mentors across artistic disciplines and mobilizes the arts as a means of community building and personal empowerment. Working to amplify the voice of underrepresented communities from Sacramento to New York City.

Sacramento City College Latinx Student Success
SCC is a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI), and is committed to serving, supporting, and affirming the diverse Latinx student community, which represents 33.3% of the student community.

Sacramento Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
The Sacramento Hispanic Chamber of Commerce's mission is to promote and develop business growth for members and to provide access to the Hispanic market. They also strengthen the region’s business community by providing education, technical assistance, access to capital, procurement facilitation and workforce development training.

Sacramento LGBTQ Center: Latinas Sin Fronteras
Latinas Sin Fronteras (Latinas without Borders) is designed to break down the barriers that stand in the way of community member access to culturally responsive services for Spanish-speaking Latinx and immigrant community members, especially transgender Latinx women

South County Services
This community-based organization offers services to promote employment, health and well-being and economic self-sufficiency in South Sacramento County including the cities of Galt, Herald, Elk Grove, South Sacramento and the River Delta areas of Isleton, Walnut Grove and Courtland.

The Washington Neighborhood Center
The Washington Neighborhood Center is located at 400 16th Street in one of Sacramento’s oldest neighborhoods. For over 50 years, the Center has provided residents of the Alkali Flat and Washington neighborhoods with services and programing in the arts, education, recreational activities, health, culture and an overall emphasis on the development of youth.