Celebrate Latino Heritage

Celebrating and honoring Latino Heritage
September 14, 2022
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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 few 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

Bilingual Storytime

Join us in celebration of Latino Heritage Month during Bilingual Storytime events at select library locations. Our librarians will share stories and lead you through songs and activities in English and Spanish. Each child will take home a maraca and a bilingual book while supplies last.
September 29 3 p.m. Sylvan Oaks Library
September 30 10:30 a.m. Valley Hi-North Laguna Library
October 1 2 p.m. Rancho Cordova Library
October 6 10:30 a.m. Belle Cooledge Library
October 7 10:30 a.m. Colonial Heights Library
October 12 10:30 a.m. Nonie Wetzel Courtland Library
October 22 1 p.m. Del Paso Heights Library

Poets and Authors with Marcelo Hernandez Castillo (September 28 at 6 p.m.)

Marcelo Hernandez Castillo is a poet, essayist, translator, and immigration advocate. He is the author of the collection Cenzontle (2018), which won the 2017 A. Poulin Jr. prize, and the chapbook Dulce (2018). His memoir, Children of the Land (2020), is his most recent publication. His work has appeared or been featured in The New York Times, PBS Newshour, People Magazine en Español, The Paris Review, Fusion TV, Buzzfeed, Gulf Coast: A Journal of Literature and Fine Arts, New England Review, and Indiana Review, among others. He currently teaches in the Low-Res MFA program at Ashland University. Copies of Marcelo's book Children of the Land are available for sale at A Seat at the Table Books.

A Sly Film (October 1 at 11 a.m.)

Get a behind the scenes look at the work of A Sly Film, one of Sacramento’s rising documentarians and social justice advocates.
“The day I told everyone to stop calling me sylvestre and start calling me 'Sly' was the day I rebranded myself. More than just a name change it was a new mindset that came with that brand new car smell. I’m an independent contractor that makes video and photo content. Everything is done under my brand 'ASlyFilm' that I created to have a purpose in life. I exist because of 'ASlyFilm.'"

This program is a part of the Indigenous, Black, Latinx in STEAM grant project and is supported in whole or in part by funding provided by the State of California, administered by the California State Library.


Poets and Authors with Sonia Gutierrez (October 5 at 6 p.m.)

We're proud to welcome poet, author, and educator Sonia Gutierrez moderated by Xico González, a Sacramento-based artist, educator, and social justice advocate. Sonia Gutiérrez is the recipient of the Tomás Rivera Book Award 2021 and the International Latino Book Awards 2022 for her novel Dreaming with Mariposas (FlowerSong Press, 2020). In 2021, Dreaming with Mariposas also received an honorable mention for the Isabel Allende Most Inspirational Fiction Award from the International Latino Book Awards and a finalist for the International Book Awards. She is the author of Spider Woman / La Mujer Araña (Olmeca Press, 2013) and co-editor for The Writer’s Response (Cengage Learning, 2016). She teaches critical thinking and writing, creative writing, and women’s, gender, and sexuality studies. Her bilingual poetry collection, Paper Birds: Feather by Feather / Pájaros de papel: Pluma por pluma, is forthcoming in 2022. Presently, she is working on her first illustrated book, The Adventures of a Burrito Flying Saucer, and teaching in cyberland. Copies of Sonia's book Dreaming with Mariposas are available for sale at A Seat at the Table Books.

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.

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.