National Hispanic Heritage Month is September 15-October 15. This is a time for celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of people of Spanish, Mexican, Caribbean and Central and South American decent. The celebration starts on September 15 because that’s the anniversary of independence for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence on September 16 and 18, respectively.
Oregon’s Tualatin Valley has a strong and rich Hispanic and Latinx community. The area is home to the largest population of Latinx people in Oregon. Several organizations hold the community together as cultural centers for Latinx families. From offering support to hosting events, these groups help keep Tualatin Valley’s Latinx community strong.
Adalante Mujeres, which aims to empower Latinas, puts on the Forest Grove Farmers Market and the Cornelius Farmers Markets. The markets were started to foster cross-cultural exchange and gives small farmers a chance to connect with the community. You’ll find locally-grown produce, handmade crafts, meat, eggs, baked goods and prepared food.
Centro Cultural de Washington County has dance classes and annual events, including Dia de los Muertos. In past years, the City of Tigard held a Street Fair and Latino Festival in September and Hillsboro had a Latino Cultural Festival in October.
Celebrating Latinx culture may look different this year with festivals cancelled due to COVID-19, but there are still ways to celebrate and support the communities. Tualatin Valley has plenty of Mexican, South American and Caribbean cuisine to give you a taste of the region.
Try tamales at Gloria’s Secret Cafe in downtown Beaverton or Puerto Rican mofongos at Boriken. Beaverton is also home to Ome Calli, where you can get a frozen treat inspired by Mexican flavors. Try a chamoyada, a type of shaved ice with chili powder, lime juice and chamoy sauce.
There are also a wealth of family-owned Mexican bakeries and restaurants with delicious and authentic food.