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  Latino Branding and Advertising – Linking You to the Hispanic Market 

 
 
         
 
 

Hispanic Heritage Month ... Honoring Our Culture

Hispanic Heritage Awards Honor Leaders

Sandra Benítez - Hispanic Heritage Award Winner (Literature)

Literature Gives a Voice to Latino Writers

John Leguizamo - Hispanic Heritage Award Winner (Arts)

The Screen & Stage Open Doors to Latino Culture

Andres Cantor - Hispanic Heritage Award Winner (Sports)

Sports are a Field of Dreams for Latinos

The Importance of Hispanic Heritage

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Hispanic Heritage Month ... Honoring Our Culture

Hispanic Heritage Month, celebrated from September 15 through October 15 each year, commemorates the cultural contributions Latinos have made in the U.S. In 1968, Congress authorized President Johnson to proclaim Hispanic Heritage Week and twenty years later, the celebration was expanded to Hispanic Heritage Month. Today, the events begin earlier in September and end later in October, but the original dates were selected because they are significant in many Latin American countries. September 15 is the Independence Day for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua; Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence on September 16 and September 18 respectively.

Hispanic Heritage Awards Honor Leaders

In addition to many local events, the Hispanic Heritage Awards Foundation has recognized the achievements of leaders and raised public awareness of Hispanic contributions since 1987. The 2004 Hispanic Heritage Awards ceremony will be held at the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. on September 10th and broadcast later on NBC and Telemundo. Honorees are: Sandra Benítez (Literature), John Leguizamo (Arts), Andres Cantor (Sports), Narciso Rodriguez (Vision), Juan D. González (Leadership) and Gloría Rodriguez (Education). Seven Youth Award winners will also be honored. Current and past honorees represent the aspirations and accomplishments of Latinos in various fields. Lazos Latinos would like to highlight three of honorees.

Sandra Benítez - Hispanic Heritage Award Winner (Literature)

Sandra Benítez is the author of four novels: A Place Where the Sea Remembers, which won the first Barnes & Noble Discover Award and a Minnesota book award; Bitter Grounds, which won an American Book award; The Weight of All Things; and Night of the Radishes. She also recently completed her first non-fiction book, Bag Lady. Denise Chávez describes Sandra's characters as, "magnificent, merciful, soul-routed, creatures clinging to the shore." Filmed scenes from A Place Where the Sea Remembers will be broadcast during the awards ceremony. This honoree is the first cousin of Lazos Latinos president, Cristina Benítez.

Literature Gives a Voice to Latino Writers

The written word has allowed many Hispanic writers to share their culture and viewpoints with the world. In 2004, the Association of American Publishers declared June as Latino Book Month, when booksellers, librarians and others in the industry promote reading books by and for Hispanics. The Chicago Public Library, one of the largest library systems in the United States, has selected Julia Alvarez as the first Hispanic author for its successful community reading program One Book, One Chicago. Her book In the Time of the Butterflies is the fall 2004 selection.

 

 


John Leguizamo - Hispanic Heritage Award Winner (Arts)

John Leguizamo an actor widely recognized for his film, television and theater performances, was the lead in the movies Empire and Summer of Sam. He also received a Golden Globe nomination for his role in To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar. Mr. Leguizamo has appeared in many other films, including Moulin Rouge and Romeo and Juliet. He directed and starred in HBO's Infamous. Additionally, Mr. Leguizamo received an OBIE, an Outer Critics Award and a Vanguardia Award for Mambo Mouth, which he wrote and performed. Recently, this honoree has been involved in the Latino film Crónicas.

The Screen & Stage Open Doors to Latino Culture

Latinos are increasingly assuming visible roles both on and behind the scenes in film, television and theater. Noteworthy successes exemplify their importance, such as Benicio Del Toro winning a 2000 Academy Award for supporting actor in the movie Traffic and being nominated in 2003 for 21 Grams. The talented playwright Nilo Cruz received a Pulitzer Prize for Drama for Anna in the Tropics in 2003. Hispanic-focused television series, such as The George Lopez Show (ABC) and American Family (PBS), demonstrate the crossover appeal to wider audiences. Currently, Latino film festivals in Chicago, Miami and other cities honor significant works and make them available to the general public.

Andres Cantor - Hispanic Heritage Award Winner (Sports)

Andres Cantor, "Sr. Gooooaaal," is a sportscaster who is credited with increasing awareness of soccer in the U.S. He covered the 2000 and 2004 Olympics for NBC Sports and has covered several World Cup tournaments. In 1994, Mr. Cantor was named Sports Personality of the Year by the American Sportscaster Association and also won an Emmy award for individual achievement for his coverage of the World Cup. He has a syndicated radio program, Fútbol de Primera, which is broadcast in over 40 U.S. markets.

Sports are a Field of Dreams for Latinos

Latinos have also left their mark in sports. There are 195 Hispanic players in Major League Baseball, representing 23% of the league. Notables like Alexander Rodriguez, the 2003 Most Valuable Player (MVP) for the American League, and Cubs slugger Sammy Sosa, the 1998 National League MVP, draw fans. In a historic fight for four titles, Oscar De La Hoya, the World Boxing Organization middleweight champion, faces Bernard Hopkins, holder of three titles, on September 18 in Las Vegas. Recently, Hispanic athletes on the 2004 U.S. Olympic team have taken gold, silver and bronze medals including:

  • Jessica Mendoza, Lisa Fernandez and Crystl Bustos won gold for the women's softball team
  • Annia Hatch won a silver medal in gymnastics-vault
  • Stephen Lopez won his second gold medal in tae kwon do
  • Patricia Miranda won a bronze medal in women's wrestling (freestyle)
  • Brenda Villa was on the women's water polo team that won a bronze medal

 

 

The Importance of Hispanic Heritage

Hispanic Heritage Month highlights the significant contributions of Latinos to our society. As companies create programs targeting the Hispanic market, it is important to honor the cultural heritage of Latino people. Recognizing their aspirations and successes, while taking into account unique traditions, sends a strong message that an organization cares. Those who truly demonstrate an understanding of Hispanics are more likely to attract this substantial and growing population.

 
 

For more information on the Latino Market, visit:

www.lazoslatinos.com

Phone 312-280-1224