Hispanic Heritage Month is a time to appreciate the contributions and culture of Americans of Hispanic ancestry, including Mexico, Spain, Central America, South America and the Caribbean. It begins on September 15, in recognition of the day of independence for Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Honduras, and runs through October 15. Heritage Month also celebrates the September dates of independence for Chile and Mexico, whose descendants have contributed so much to America. With its diverse population and thriving community of artists, authors, chefs and other creative types, Sacramento is the perfect spot to learn about, explore and appreciate those contributions during Hispanic Heritage Month.
Sacramento Public Library

The public library system in Sacramento offers many ways to learn during Hispanic Heritage Month, with books for all ages available in its 28 area branches. Adults can borrow books like Tjabel Daling’s “Costa Rica: A Guide to the People, Politics and Culture” or learn how to research their own family history with “Tracing your Hispanic Heritage” by George R. Ryskamp. If learning how to tango in Buenos Aires sounds exciting, you will love some of the fascinating travel options outlined in Pam Grout’s “The 100 Best Worldwide Vacations to Enrich your Life.” Or if hiking in Machu Picchu, kayaking in the Sea of Cortez or chilling out on a Nicaraguan island sound like your style, check out “Riding the Hulahula to the Arctic Ocean: a Guide to Fifty Extraordinary Adventures for the Seasoned Traveler” by Don Mankin and Shannon Stowell. There are many great books for children as well, including “El Salvador – The People and Culture” by Greg Nickles, Sara Louise Kras’ “Honduras” or a biography of Simón Bolívar by David Goodnough. For fun crafts and activities, kids aged 8 to 12 will love “Mexico and Central America” by Mary C. Turck.

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Pachamama Coffee Co-op
919 20th St.
Sacramento, CA 95811
(530) 204-7554

Although it might seem like Californians are born with a cup from Starbucks in their hands, there are additional options for those who appreciate the joys of java. The Pachamama co-op brings the rich flavors and aromas of freshly roasted, organic coffee to Sacramento from Mexico, Ethiopia, Nicaragua, Guatemala and Peru. Pachamama is part of a global cooperative owned and operated by small-scale family farms; purchasing products directly from coffee farmers is particularly attractive to people living here in the Farm-To-Fork Capitol of America. The coffee at this small midtown shop is excellent, using beans that are roasted in small batches in California. Stop by for a taste in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, and do not be surprised if the sublime flavors become part of your daily diet.

La Superior Mercado & Carniceria
2210 Northgate Blvd.
Sacramento CA 95833
(916) 929-7095

If part of your celebration of Heritage Month is eating at home, La Superior offers a wide selection of Mexican groceries and ready-to-eat foods. You can prepare Mexican treats at home with La Superior’s fresh fish and meats, queso fresco, fruits, vegetables and spices, and kids will love the Mexican candies. There is a ceviche and salsa bar, and a buffet with freshly made tacos, tortas, burritos, chile relleno, soups, traditional drinks, Latino pastries and sweet breads.

Tango by the River
128 J St.
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 443-7008

Kick up your heels and celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month by learning the Argentine Tango right here in Old Sacramento. Lessons, performances, workshops and special events make it a joy to experience this elegant, emotionally powerful method of dancing. Check the website for specials on introductory dance classes for individuals and groups, and on special practice sessions.

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Valerie Heimerich is a freelance writer out of Sacramento. She typically covers animals and community issues. She has volunteered and worked for many organizations helping animals and people.
Her work can be found at Examiner.com.