Hispanic Heritage Council of Western New York

History of the Hispanic Heritage Council of Western New York Inc.

The Hispanic Heritage Council is dedicated to preserving, promoting, and advancing the history and cultural contributions of the Hispanic community in Western New York as well as the world. By shaping policy impacting the Latino community and providing opportunities for future generations, cultural contributions, they ensure the continuation of this legacy.

The fastest growing minority in the United States, the Hispanic community contributes to the richness of our society. At present, nearly 70,000 Latinos reside in Western New York. Our country has long recognized the importance of this community. On September 17, 1968, the United States Congress passed a resolution establishing a week-long national celebration of Hispanic culture. On August 17, 1988, President Ronald Reagan expanded the commemoration, designating September 15 to October 15 as Hispanic Heritage Month.

September 15, 2010, marked the start of the area's first official Hispanic Heritage Month celebration. Erie County and the City of Buffalo kicked off the celebration with a ceremony at the Buffalo & Erie County Public Central Library, recognizing Latino contributions to our community. The month-long festivities raised awareness of Hispanic heritage, diversity, and culture, inspiring pride in the local Latino community. Several county arts and cultural organizations collaborated to create a calendar of events marking Hispanic Heritage Month.

The celebration struck a chord with Casimiro D. Rodriguez Sr. Drawing from his experience on the Erie County Cultural Arts Resource Board in 2009, he immediately recognized the absence of Hispanic representation in the cultural sector and set to work to correct the disparity. His efforts came to fruition on April 4, 2011, when the Hispanic Heritage Council received its official Certificate of Incorporation as a New York nonprofit. As the founding member, he recruited Tamara Alsace, Gilbert Hernandez, Wilda Ramos, Sergio Rodriguez, John Sanabria, Miguel Santos, and Esmeralda Sierra to complete the board.

The council strives to highlight WNY's Hispanic community, values, and culture during the community-wide celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month and throughout the year. They curate Latino history exhibits at The Buffalo History Museum, Buffalo & Erie County Public Libraries, Local Schools, and Private & Public Government entities. In 2014, through their efforts the City of Buffalo Common Council designated the Niagara Street Corridor as the Hispanic Heritage District, paying tribute to Latino history and cultural contributions. The Buffalo History Museum and the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library collaborated to create the Hispanic History exhibit and the oral history project. Annual Three Kings Day, Cinco de Mayo, Spanish Language Day, and their Annual Hispanic Heritage Community Breakfast celebrations draw diverse crowds. Children receive special recognition on El Dia Del Niño, The Day of the Child, a Latin American tradition promoting education, literacy, nutrition, character, and global understanding. Through these efforts, the council seeks to build a stronger community founded on mutual respect and unity.


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We have offices at the Central Library:

Hispanic Heritage Council of WNY Inc.
c/o Buffalo & Erie County Public Library
1 Lafayette Square
Buffalo, New York 14203

Hispanic Heritage Council of WNY Inc.
P.O. Box 361
Buffalo, NY 14201

716-402-1HHC (1442)
Email Us: info@hispanicheritagewny.org

*Hispanic Heritage Council of WNY Inc. is not responsible for any of the facts or opinions contained on any linked sites.*

Non Discrimination Policy:
*The provision of all services, benefits, and programs of the Hispanic Heritage Council of WNY, Inc. shall be made without regard to race, creed, color, national origin, age, religion, gender, disability, marital status, partnership status, sexual orientation, alienage, or citizenship status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law.*

In case of questions concerning this policy, or another question for or related to HHC?   Use our Contact Us page.