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. (Versión en español aquí).

'Guadalupe in the Guest Room' (Thru Oct. 24, 2021)
Guadalupe is living in the guest room of her son-in-law, Steve, while she translates the children’s books her deceased daughter has written from English to Spanish. Overcome with grief and separated by a language barrier, the unlikely housemates struggle to communicate, but as Guadalupe and Steve begin watching a telenovela together, they bond in unexpected ways, leading them to learn that understanding doesn’t always require speaking the same language. See it at Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College

Preludes (Thru Nov. 6, 2021)
The William Havu Gallery is honored to present the first solo exhibition by Cuban-born artist Carlos Estévez in Colorado, which will include more than 20 paintings. Estévez uses his work to reveal the invisible realm to the spirit that lies hidden beneath the visible world, a process that he refers to as an alchemical, metaphysical transformation of mystery into knowledge.

Alebrije: Xólotl (Thru Nov. 7, 2021)
In partnership with the Mexican Cultural Center, Denver Botanic Gardens hosts a monumental sculpture by contemporary Mexican artist Óscar Becerra Mora. Standing nearly 15 feet tall, the sculpture depicts an alebrije — a fantastical hybrid creature from Mexican folklore.

Fervor: Ana María Hernando (Thru Jan. 2, 2022)
Interdisciplinary artist Ana María Hernando harnesses the power of painting, poetry and installation to honor and alter traditional feminine craft and community in this exhibition at Denver Botanic Gardens. Her love of plants, flowers and the spirit of nature permeates her work. Fervor features her installation Écoutons | Escuchemos | Let's Listen, created in response to bird sounds submitted from more than 200 people across the globe.

SMOKING MIRRORS: A Reflection on Identity in Mexico and the USA, 1821-2021 (Oct. 14, 2021–Feb. 26, 2022)
This visual arts exhibit curated by the Chicano/a Murals of Colorado Project honors the Colorado Chicano/a mural tradition of using public art in service to the people and communities that are historically dehumanized and oppressed in US society. See it at Museo de las Americas.

Opportunities exist all year long to learn Latin dances and try out the moves! 
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.

Salsa Central Denver has a handy list of where to learn salsa and bachata every week and enjoy dancing to Latin beats, including its own Wednesday Salsa and Bachata Lessons and Dance where you can meet new people and practice all night long! There is an admission fee that includes a beginning salsa lesson. There is an extra fee for bachata and intermediate salsa. Lessons begin at 7:15 p.m. followed by open dancing from 8:30 p.m. to close. 

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 — check the schedule for levels and times.