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Over the coming weeks, Carolina students, faculty, staff and community members will have the opportunity to join in the celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month, which begins Sept. 15 and lasts through Oct. 15.

Each year, UNC-Chapel Hill celebrates with events sponsored by multiple campus organizations, including the Carolina Hispanic Association, The Carolina Latina/o Collaborative, the Carolina Union Activities Board and the UNC Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs.

First celebrated in 1968, the month-long observance recognizes the history, contributions and culture of Hispanic and Latina/o Americans. The first day of the celebration is marked by the anniversary of independence for the countries of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.

This year’s event highlights at Carolina include:

  • Sept. 15, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. in the Pit – Hispanic Heritage Month Kick-Off

The Hispanic Heritage Month celebration starts with a kick-off in the Pit. Learn more about the many events planned for this year and the organizations sponsoring them.

  • Oct. 2, 4:30-8:30 p.m. at Top of Lenoir Dining Hall – Hispanic Heritage Month Dinner

This themed dinner, in collaboration with Carolina Dining Services, will include music, dance and plenty of delicious Hispanic- and Latina/o-inspired cuisine.

  • Oct. 4, 7:30 p.m. at Memorial Hall – Hispanic Heritage Month Keynote Speaker:  An Evening with Junot Díaz

Junot Díaz, best known for his novel “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Waoand short story collection “Drown,” is scheduled to speak. Following the book reading and discussion, there will be a book signing and light reception in the Queen Anne Lounge of the Campus Y.

  • Oct. 11, 3-6 p.m. at SASB Plaza – Carnaval

As a final celebration to mark the end of Hispanic Heritage Month, Carnaval includes dance, music, performances, food and games that celebrate Latina/o culture.

A complete list of Hispanic Heritage Month events can be found here.

By Olivia Hart, Office of Communications and Public Affairs

Published Sept. 15, 2014