National Hispanic Heritage Month, from Sept. 15–Oct. 15 each year, commemorates the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.

The celebration begins each year on Sept. 15, the anniversary of the independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Mexico, Chile and Belize also observe their independence days during this period.

Here’s how you can celebrate this rich tradition, history and culture in Denver during this special month. 


National Hispanic Heritage Month Events

Día de los Muertos Celebrations

Día de los Muertos ‘Life, Death and Rebirth: Vida, Muerte y Renacimiento' (Oct. 6–Nov. 17, 2023)
The CHAC Gallery presents a community gathering event on Oct. 6 for their Dia de los Muertos exhibit. The exhibit will remain to mid-November, but from 6 p.m.-9 p.m. on Oct. 6, a special ceremony will be held to come together as a community to celebrate our lost loved ones through one of Mexico’s oldest traditions.   

Meow Wolf Makers: Dia De Los Muertos (Family Friendly) (Oct. 7, 2023)
Make marigold and butterfly masks and headpieces to wear to the upcoming Dia de los Muertos Family Fiesta and the Catrina Ball! Kate Major, professional costume and creature maker at Meow Wolf Denver, will be inside the Longmont Firehouse Art Center's Main and South Gallery for a family-friendly mask-building workshop from 3 to 5 p.m.

Meow Wolf Makers: Dia De Los Muertos (Adult) (Oct. 7, 2023)
Make marigold and butterfly masks and headpieces to wear to the upcoming Dia de los Muertos Family Fiesta and the Catrina Ball! Kate Major, professional costume and creature maker at Meow Wolf Denver, will be inside the Longmont Firehouse Art Center's Main and South Gallery for an adults-only mask-building workshop from 6 to 8 p.m.

Family Make and Take: Traditions of Día de los Muertos Papier Mache Calaveras (Oct. 29–30, 2023)
Cartonería (papier mache) is a form of Mexican folk art used to create objects that are essential to celebrating Mexican holidays and festivals, including Día de los Muertos. Instead of representing fear and death, calaveras (skulls) symbolize the celebration of life and are often placed on the ofrenda as an offering. Join in to paint and decorate papier mache calaveras sculptures created by contemporary Mexican artists Óscar Becerra-Mora and Ruben Mica.

Day of the Dead Cooking Class (Nov. 2, 2023)
Join Plot Twist Bakery in Littleton for a festive culinary adventure celebrating the vibrant traditions of Day of the Dead in an immersive cooking class! In this two-hour class, you’ll unleash your inner chef and learn to craft three mouth-watering Mexican delights: salsa verde, guacamole, and chorizo-stuffed poblano peppers. After all that hard work, you’ll sit down to enjoy your feast, which you can pair with your choice of traditional Mexican beverage: horchata or hibiscus agua fresca. And as the grand finale, you'll enjoy a decadent treat: chocolate caramel flan cake!

Day of the Dead Celebration (Nov. 3, 2023)
Celebrate Day of the Dead in Lakewood's 40 West Arts District with Pirates! Pirate: Contemporary Art presents its annual Dia De Los Muertos event and art show. The free event features Aztec Dancers, a Procession and Pinatas. Pirate has hosted its Day Of The Dead show for more than three decades as a neighborhood party and artistic celebration of Mexican culture. Featured for the duration of the show are altars honoring the dead assembled by local families and schools, as well as artwork by K–12 schools from Denver and Jefferson county.


Museum Exhibitions

Yo Soy Arte: Calacas y Catrinas (thru Nov. 5, 2023)
This captivating exhibition celebrates Mexican culture and the artistic traditions of Día de los Muertos. It brings to life the calacas (skeletons) and catrinas (elegant skeletons satirizing high society) found in Mexican traditions. The unique approach Mexicans take toward death—cheerful and festive—is showcased with larger-than-life paper-mâché catrinas created by Los Angeles artist Ricardo Soltero and calacas hand-painted by Colorado Latinx artists. Find calacas on view at Denver Botanic Gardens (included with admission) and catrinas on view at Aurora Public Libraries.


Costa Rica: Long Live Peace and Labor (thru Jan. 28, 2024)
When you think of Costa Rica, do you think of the country’s biodiversity and anti-militarist culture? What you may not know is that beneath the surface, contrasting realities intertwine. Beyond its idyllic image, Costa Rica represents a fresh societal landscape, giving rise to new social groups that voice their opinions and question prevailing national political choices. With this exhibition at Museo de las Americas, the country's rich cultural heritage comes to life as a seamless blend of ancient artifacts and contemporary art illuminates both the country’s intriguing past and vibrant present.

Mi Gente: Manifestations of Community in the Southwest (thru Feb. 3, 2024)
Community can be defined as a group of people who have shared characteristics or inhabit the same space. Drawing from works in the collection stewarded by the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, Mi Gente: Manifestations of Community in the Southwest considers community within a landscape that has been shaped by colonization and migration. Focusing primarily on works by Chicanx/a/o, Hispanic, and Mexican-American artists based in New Mexico and Colorado, Mi Gente considers the politics and complexities of community, including those who are perceived as outsiders. 

The Skeletal World of José Guadalupe Posada (thru May 12, 2024)
This exhibition at Denver Art Museum presents the work of the iconic 19th-century Mexican artist and lithographer whose illustrations of skeletal figures known as calaveras and catrinas have become an essential part of Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebrations. Featuring a select set of Posada’s prints, including many of his most famous calaveras, Skeletal World also includes art that showcases his enduring legacy.

Latin American Art Galleries
The reinstalled Frederick & Jan Mayer Galleries showcase Denver Art Museum’s renowned Latin American Art and Art of the Ancient Americas collections through a presentation of more than 1,000 rare works that present the expansive history of artistic creation in Latin America. The breadth of these collections, among the most comprehensive in the United States, encompass 3,500 years of art and culture, revealing trends, relationships and discontinuities between art created in the region.


Food & Drink


Hispanic Top Chef 2023 (Oct. 12–14, 2023)
The Hispanic Restaurant Association presents an exciting event for chefs and foodies alike! Eight carefully selected competitors will showcase their talents in this three-day culinary showdown. The event will take place at CSU Spur at the National Western Center.


Music, Dancing & Performances

'Los Amantes Perfectos' (Oct. 7, 2023)
Don't miss this traveling Latin play as it makes a stop in Denver, featuring Mexican actors Victoria Ruffo and Jorge Salinas. 

Cuauhtémoczin'Cuauhtémoczin' (Oct. 6–14, 2023)
"Cuauhtémoczin" is a magical realism prison drama intertwining the legacy of the ancient Aztec emperor Cuauhtemoc and the fight for liberation in the modern-day American prison system. Through a captivating multi-media performance, Cuauhtémoczin journeys through a return to self in the darkest of isolation; leaving audiences in awe, and connecting them with a Glimpse of Aztec culture and their own warrior spirit.

Flamenco Workshop: Singing with Francisco Orozco 'Yiyi' & Amparo Heredia 'La Repompilla' (Oct. 9–11, 2023)
Flamenco Denver offers workshops with professional dancers and musicians from Spain, Venezuela and around the U.S. 

Flamenco Workshop: Technique & Jaleo Choreography with Nino de los Reyes (Oct. 9–11, 2023)
Flamenco Denver offers workshops with professional dancers and musicians from Spain, Venezuela and around the U.S. Nino de los Reyes is the first dancer to be recognized with a Grammy award for the best Latin jazz album “Antidote,” collaborating with music legend Chick Corea. He is described by as an “explosive dancer, but also the dancer of small and simple movements that moves the audience to shout “ole.”

Flamenco Workshop: Percussion class [Cajon] with Diego Alvarez (Oct. 10–12, 2023)
Flamenco Denver offers workshops with professional dancers and musicians from Spain, Venezuela and around the U.S. Diego "El Negro" Alvarez is a master cajón player born in Venezuela. He lived in Spain for 16 years, where he developed his career alongside several prestigious flamenco dance companies. He is the winner of a Latin Grammy in 2010 and has more than 12 other Latin Grammy nominations to his credit. 

'Raices' (Oct. 13, 2023)
Flamenco Denver is once again bringing back its signature performance, “Raices,” to the Newman Center for the Performing Arts. It features Executive and Artistic Director María Vázquez, several internationally recognized guest artists and the Flamenco Denver Dance Company.

Local Live Music at Sol Mexican Cantina (Fridays and Saturdays from 6–9 p.m.)
At Sol Mexican Cocina in Denver's exciting Cherry Creek North neighborhood, visitors can experience Latino music by local artists in a beautiful setting inspired by Mexico’s Baja region. Enjoy the restaurant’s delicious food along with an incomparable ambiance, which includes an indoor-outdoor patio and fire pit.

Latin Dancing Year-Round

Colorado New Style Dance specializes in Latin dance and offers a wide variety of classes for adults and kids. Various levels of salsa, bachata, capoeira and other classes are available.

Also on the list are bachata dancing with lessons on Wednesdays and Salsa Fridays at Blue Ice Lounge, which also has Rotating Latin Night on Thursdays and Latin Top 40 on Saturdays. More salsa and bachata lessons take place at La Rumba every night of the week. 

Looking to hear the best of new and classic Latin American music? Tune in every Sunday to KUVO JAZZ (89.3 FM) at 4 p.m. for Super Sonido with La Molly. The show highlights various Latin American genres, many of which are not well-known in the U.S., as well as local Latino musicians who deserve to be on your playlist. Hosted by the multi-talented DJ La Molly, who is also the co-founder of the Latino arts collective Ciudad Reina, the show is enormously popular with Denver’s Latino community. You can listen to archived shows on KUVO’s website.