By Eduardo Crespo
President George H.W. Bush proclaimed the first Hispanic Heritage Month on Sept. 14, 1989 to honor the achievements of Hispanic-Americans.
Sept. 15 was chosen as the date of commemoration because it is the anniversary of the independence of five Hispanic countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua, all of which declared independence in 1821. In addition, Mexico, Chile, and Belize celebrate their independence days on Sept. 16, 18, and 21, respectively.
Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates the accomplishments of Hispanic-Americans, who have enriched our culture and society and helped make America into the incredible country it is today. Hispanic-American men and women embody the American values of devotion to faith and family, hard work, and patriotism through their countless contributions as leaders, innovators, entrepreneurs, and members of our Armed Forces.
They have in the process helped to build a better future for all Americans.
Hispanic-Americans also continue to support our economy and society as business owners, professionals, teachers, and public servants. We should recognize their achievements and contributions to our national story.
The Hispanic market has shown unprecedented income growth in the U.S. even as Hispanic-Americans have become an important sector of the workforce. It’s what I call ‘the Hispanic Opportunity,’ a unique phenomenon in U.S. history in which Hispanic demographic growth is ascending rapidly while the white population is declining.
These developments have together created immense opportunities in the marketplace.
Indeed, progressive, market-driven brands and employers are creating new paradigms incorporating Hispanics as part of their core business strategies and corporate culture. Marketing campaigns today must be culturally relevant and linguistically appropriate, not merely translations of content developed for other audiences.
Only consumer brands that cater to Hispanics will achieve meaningful success.
Also, one out of four residents under the age of 18 is Hispanic, meaning the future of America depends on how well they do in terms of education, work, and achieving the American dream.
Eduardo Crespo, an immigrant from Ecuador, is a bilingual/bicultural professional and founder and CEO of Hispanic Market Solution in Lawrence. This article first appeared on the Associated Industries of Massachusetts blog.