SanaSana.com sees dramatic growth, demand for consumer products

 

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SanaSana.com sells (www.sanasana.com) offers a wide variety of household, personal care, and baby and child items. The company’s mission is “to make a positive impact on the lives of orphaned children in Latin America by transforming an online shopping experience into a life changing contribution.”

SanaSana.com, an online retailer of consumer products, has experienced dramatic growth during the last 8 months. The steady demand from their primary customer base of U.S. Latino shoppers has the popular retailer currently carrying over 20,000 items and more than 1,500 brands. This doubles the amount of products carried by the site since the first quarter of the year.

The site’s strong appeal to U.S. Hispanics is attributed in part to the extensive bilingual content and popularity of two informative blogs, Latino Health Magazine and A la Sana. The blogs carry a collection of more than 2,500 articles, covering topics such as health, nutrition and beauty. They include useful tips and recipes coveted by the company’s Latino customer base. The online retailer also identifies with U.S. Hispanics with its philanthropic mission of helping orphaned children in Latin American countries.

“It is very gratifying to see online shoppers continue to support our site and cause. We attribute the growth and success of SanaSana.com to the spirit of giving shared with our Hispanic customers,” explains Naor Fischbein, founder and CEO of SanaSana.com. “Latinos have really connected with our mission and strongly identify with our content and products. They “get” that what they buy on our site will help improve the lives of many children.”

Another key factor that has helped SanaSana.com attract Latino shoppers is the company’s willingness to invest and improve the site’s functionality. The implementation of intuitive and user friendly design has rated very high among users. The launch of the mobile version of the site has also been very well received by shoppers. This is instrumental in continuing to attract the 77% of U.S. Hispanics that use smart phones, according to Nielsen. The site also carries a wide variety of Organic and Gluten Free products to meet the increased demand for these healthy products.

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Pulpo Media and Targeted Victory partner for specialized political marketing to Latinos

 

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Pulpo Media Web site (www.pulpomedia.com)

 

Targeted Victory, an audience-driven technology company specializing in programmatic media buying, today announced a new partnership with Pulpo Media, a Hispanic digital platform. Through the agreement, data and audience segments from Pulpo Media will be added to Targeted Victory’s Audience Exchange marketplace, the most comprehensive in American politics. These new audience segments are available to self-service Targeted Engagement users and full-service Targeted Victory clients.

Boasting $1.3 trillion in purchasing power and growing 10 times faster than the general population, a modern targeted advertising campaign must account for Hispanic demographics, across acculturation levels and digital devices. By specializing in these audiences, and knowing what is closest and most valuable to them, Pulpo Media can provide more in-depth consumer knowledge, actionable insights, and overall value to clients, partners, and investors.

“Pulpo Media and the valuable Hispanic audience data they offer are indispensable to a resource like Audience Exchange,” said Targeted Victory co-founder Michael Beach. “Allowing our clients to access the combined audience data from Pulpo and Targeted Victory will allow for hyper targeting of Hispanic voters based on political preferences.”

“We are excited about our new partnership with Targeted Victory, stated Justin Kuykendall, CEO of Pulpo Media.”As the leader in online political marketing, extending Targeted Victory’s services to the online, or (i)Hispanic, market makes strategic sense, whose time has come. Our partnership will greatly enhance and deepen their programmatic media offering.”

Univision and IES partner to increase online presence of Hispanic-serving colleges

 

 

 

 

 

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Integrated Education Solutions Web site (www.integratededsolutions.com).

 

 

Integrated Education Solutions (IES) and Univision Communications Inc. today announced a strategic alliance to help Hispanic serving institutions develop their online capabilities. IES and UCI will work with colleges and universities experienced in serving Hispanic students to build new online educational offerings, or expand current efforts.

IES will provide a turnkey solution to institutions seeking to offer online courses and degree programs, including program planning, instructional design, recruitment and student services, virtual campus management and regulatory compliance consulting.

“IES has tremendous expertise in this area, built on DeVry Education Group’s more than 20 years of experience managing programs and serving students from the certificate to the doctoral level,” said Stephanie Woodson, executive director of IES. “We are excited to work with Univision and Hispanic serving colleges and universities to create and deliver quality online programs.”

DeVry Education Group’s online services operations serve over 450,000 course takers per year across a wide range of academic programs at DeVry Group institutions, including nursing, business, medicine, technology and allied health.

As part of the strategic alliance, Univision will provide access to research from its consumer insights team, as well as a material media package supporting this strategic alliance that includes television, radio, digital, and live events.

More than 56 million Hispanics live in the U.S., representing nearly half the nation’s population growth from 2000-2012, and nearly 89 percent of the growth in college enrollment during that timeframe.

Lexus and Mega TV partner to broadcast second season of “VIDA LEXUS Presenta: Té Para Tres con Pili Montilla” nationwide

 

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Journalist, TV host, and social media influencer Pili Montilla is the host of “Té Para Tres,” now airing weekly on MegaTV.

 

Mega TV and Lexus are teaming up to bring  the Emmy-nominated music  series “VIDA LEXUS Presenta: Té Para Tres con Pili Montilla” to millions of viewers. Lexus will co-produce the second season, which began airing nationwide and in Puerto Rico on Mega TV starting yesterday, at 9 PM ET / 8 Central / 6 PM Pacific.

In its debut, viewers enjoyed an updated version of the first season, with María Del Pilar and Domino Saints as guests. Later they will see Fofé and Gustavo Galindo, Las Cafeteras, La Santa Cecilia, Mexican Dubwiser, Palenke Soul Tribe, Indigo, Henry Cole, Astro, Especial SESAC, Fofé and Rakas. The second season will begin airing on November 29th.

Created, produced and hosted by Emmy-nominated TV presenter Pili Montilla, and directed and edited by two-time Emmy winner Juan Agustín Márquez, “Té Para Tres” is a place of musical discovery that offers a fun, intimate and spontaneous look at a “day in the life” of the most unique and talented Latino musicians emerging today, through conversations that excite and inspire.

In an intimate setting, Pili Montilla takes the audience through the ups and downs, struggles and triumphs of the lives of today’s hottest emerging artists. Viewers will have behind-the-scenes access to exclusive places like recording studios, concerts and homes of these rising stars and acclaimed artists like Draco Rosa, Vega, Periko y Jessi León, Babasonicos, La Santa Cecilia, Ceci Bastida and many more.

“As a producer, host and music lover, my mission for “Té Para Tres “is to create a platform where incredible alternative talent can share theirmusic and history. Undoubtedly, the show has become a place of discovery that helps expand the musical palate of our audience. Here at “Té Para Tres Studios,” we are very proud to share our vision with the Lexus community, as well as with these Latino musicians, embarking on a journey in search of musical perfection, “said Pili Montilla.

An Emmy-nominated television presenter, producer and social media expert, Pili Montilla has built a reputation as one of the best presenters in the world of bilingual entertainment. Her curiosity to explore the depths of people has afforded her the opportunity to interview renowned artists such as Sandra Bullock, Jenni Rivera, Calle 13, Ricky Martin and Gwen Stefani, among others. 

The partnership between Lexus and MegaTV will also take the concept of the show on tour with four intimate live concerts, which featuring one of the artists profiled in the program. Stops will include cities with key Hispanic markets such as Los Angeles, Miami, Houston, and New York.

“The variety of featured artists attracts a diverse and enthusiastic audience that is also reflected in our customer base. We are proud to bring this kind of energy to the Latino community,” said Brian Smith, Lexus vice president of marketing.

 

Guests and dates of the first season are:

Maria del Pilar and Domino Saints - Oct 4
Fofé and Gustavo Galindo - October 11
Las Cafeteras and La Santa Cecilia - October 18
Mexican Dubwiser and Palenke Soul Tribe - Oct 25
Indigo and Henry Cole - Nov 1
Astro and SESAC Special - Nov 8
Fofé and Rakas - Nov 15

Mitsubishi launches ad campaign aimed at booming Latino population

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Mitsubishi Spanish-language campaign site (www.mitsubishicars.com/mimitsubishiauto

Yesterday, Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc., launched a national advertising campaign aimed at U.S. Hispanics in an effort to serve the booming Latino population. The campaign, conceived by Grupo Gallegos, an independent advertising agency, will target Hispanic consumers with advertising in TV, print and digital, and will run through March 2015.

The launch marks the first time since 2004 that MMNA has focused communications on the Hispanic market with a national campaign. Mitsubishi Motors and Grupo Gallegos previously worked together on a digital campaign supported by radio and print in the Miami area.

“We are thrilled that when Mitsubishi Motors decided to increase their focus on the Hispanic market, they returned to Grupo Gallegos for support,” shared John Gallegos, CEO and founder of Grupo Gallegos. “The Hispanic population represents a huge opportunity for brands to expand their consumer-base and increase sales, a fact that Mitsubishi Motors has embraced with this new national campaign and communication focus.”

The campaign’s creative is built on the insight that Latinos grow up in a large network of family and friends who want to help with every decision. While family and friends may be well intentioned, the communications seek to encourage car buyers to find their own lane by selecting their own car.

The TV spot features footage of each of the three cars with a first-person voiceover sharing anecdotes about his family’s feedback on his car buying decision. As the bright cars zip across scenic backgrounds, he explains, “my car is my decision.” The visual then transitions to a dramatic black background with graphic text emphasizing the confidence and individuality of the consumer, ending on the Mitsubishi Motors logo.

Commenting on the campaign, Marty Orzio, Chief Creative Officer at Grupo Gallegos, stated, “We were able to play with the name Mitsubishi by teasing out the first two letters, mi, which means “my” in Spanish. This created a great opportunity for a memorable, brand-focused campaign. By utilizing a voiceover and graphic text, we were able to convey the message of ‘My Mitsubishi’ without requiring new footage or on-camera talent.”

Mitsubishi Motors North America has seen strong sales this year, with total sales up 29.9 percent year to date (as of October 1). The Outlander Sport, an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Top Safety Pick, has had its best ever year-to-date sales. While Mirage continues to be a strong contender in the highly-competitive sub-compact market thanks to its industry-leading gas mileage and warranty.

To learn more about the products featured in the campaign, visit MiMitsubishiAuto.com.

MARKETING PROfile: Javier Moreno, manager of external affairs and communications for Toyota Motor North America Inc.

 

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Javier Moreno manager of external affairs and communications for Toyota Motor North America, has a solid reputation of engagement with the Hispanic community, including attending events featuring Latino influencers and incorporating Hispanic bloggers and communicators in Toyota’s activations.

 

Toyota has long been recognized as the top-selling auto brand among U.S. Hispanic customers, but it didn’t happen overnight. From testing its first cars in the mountainous terrain of Puerto Rico, to the Corolla holding its place as the number one national selling vehicle in the Hispanic market, the Toyota brand’s successful trajectory has been a long one, and it looks as though it will continue that way, thanks to its young, energetic driver at the wheel– Javier Moreno, manager of external affairs and communications for Toyota Motor NorthAmerica (TMNA), Inc. in Plano, Texas.

Previously, Moreno served as manager of corporate communications at Toyota’s North American holding company based in New York City. His responsibilities included media and investor relations, social media, marketing communications and multicultural outreach.

Now, Moreno’s role has shifted to being a national spokesperson for the company, to establish Toyota’s public presence in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex through the management of media relations, government affairs and community relations.

Javier Moreno talked to Hispanic PR Blog recently, addressing topics raging from Toyota’s marketing strategy with Latinos, the brand’s (and his) involvement with national Hispanic events and conferences, and the challenges of persuading the Latino community to embrace a more green lifestyle through the use of hybrid cars.

 

Being involved with Hispanic initiatives/marketing isn’t new to Toyota. But it is new to a lot of other brands. What made Toyota realize this was an important demographic from the get-go?

Toyota has advertised to U.S. Latinos for more than 30 years, while many brands are just now realizing the importance of the Hispanic market and are trying to catch up. Our strategy has been both comprehensive and integrated and incorporates elements of marketing, public relations, community relations and stakeholder and influencer engagement. Toyota campaigns such as Somos Muchos Latinos celebrate the diversity within the Hispanic community, yet acknowledge that we are one family.

 

Toyota is involved with several Hispanic events/conferences throughout the year. Why do you feel it’s important to be involved with these events and what has the brand gained from their partnerships?

We strive to remain close to the market in order to understand each unique culture and be able to speak about the opportunities that Toyota vehicles provide in the most relevant and respectful way. Serving as a title sponsor for premier Hispanic events and conferences allows us to not only engage with the Latino community, but also thank them for their business. These connectionsare the basis of our multicultural-marketing approach and it’s why we’ve seen success in this important market.

 

I’ve noticed that Toyota is using social media to reach Hispanics. A lot of brands are hesitant to involve social media in their yearly campaigns, especially Latinos in social media, yet Toyota has fully embraced it. Can you tell us more about the #VayamosJuntos campaign? Who organized this campaign? Is it the Toyota internal communications team? Or do you work with an agency or a blogging network?

Hispanics are the most active group on social media in the U.S. —80 percent of Latinos are digitally engaged, according to Pew Hispanic Research. So Toyota knows they’re a target online audience. #VayamosJuntos is actually an extension of Toyota’s “Let’s Go Places” slogan. And while it’s not the literal translation, we wanted the Spanish-language slogan to truly reflect the meaning behind “Let’s Go Places.” In researching the new slogan, we found that “vamos” is the more commonly used word, but may insinuate a mandate. Meanwhile, “vayamos” is more of an invitation.

#VayamosJuntos is another example of how Toyota strives to engage Latinos in a more relevant,authentic way. We know it’s about more than simply translating from English to Spanish. Toyota Latino is managed by our internal team with support from Conill Advertising. Conill has been an excellent agency to work with over the past three decades.

 

Does Toyota approach their marketing towards Latinos differently than toward non-
Latinos? In other words, how does your approach differ? What data or culture quirks and customs do you notice when it comes to car buying from Latinos vs. other demographics?

The Total Toyota (T2) approach is a “total market” strategy. As the corporate communications team, we’re actively establishing deeper relationships with influential Latino communities in the U.S. through our Hispanic Business Strategy Group. Our strategy is both comprehensive and integrated.

When it comes to trends, we’ve seen that Latinos are more likely to own mainstream subcompact and compact cars, such as the Toyota Corolla, followed by mainstream mid-sized cars and then full-sized and heavy-duty pickup trucks. Hispanics are also more likely to choose a Japanese- branded vehicle over other brands. They’re also going to rely more on friends and family for information on a certain vehicle, rather than what they read in print or see on television.

 

How do Latinos feel about hybrid cars? Do you think it’s harder to convince Hispanics to go green than other demographics? Why or why not?

It’s a work in progress. As the creator of the Prius, Toyota knows hybrid technology and has shown that it’s a proven technology, saving American’s about $5 billion in fuel costs over the past 14 years. We have the opportunity to continue to work with the Latino community and share the benefits of hybrid technology and are doing just that.

The Prius family currently accounts for about 41 percent of all alternative fuel vehicle sales among Hispanics. And while Latinos have been slower to adopt hybrid technology, sales increased from roughly 12,701 total units sold in 2009, to more than 40,000 units 2013.

 

What has Toyota done to market the hybrid car and convince Hispanics to embrace a green lifestyle?

Strategies such as our social media partnership with Latino influencers such as Jon Secada aim to promote a greener lifestyle to U.S. Hispanics. Secada is a well-known and trusted public figure for Latinos and his endorsement of the Toyota Prius strengthens our message of increasing sustainability awareness within the market.

 

What can Hispanic consumers expect from Toyota in 2015? Will Toyota be at more events? Increase or decrease their social media presence? Launch a new advertising campaign? Etc.

Consistency is key in order to continue with our success. While we can’t share everything, we do know we’ll remain aggressive in this market and continue to promote our core products, such as the Tundra and Corolla. We’d also like to continue improving hybrid technology acceptance among Latinos. Following the 10 year milestone as no. 1 among U.S. Hispanics, we have some great things in store in order to thank our Latino consumers for their business and continuous support.

 

Variety Latino measures Hispanics’ emotional connection to Latino celebrities via nationwide survey

 

 

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Screenshot, Variety Latino Web site (www.varietylatino.com)

 

Variety Latino, launched last March through a partnership between Univision Communications, Inc. and Variety Media LLC, a subsidiary of Penske Media Corporation– has conducted a first-ever nationwide survey to measure the brand power, appeal and influence of today’s top Latino film and television actors based on U.S. Hispanics’ emotional connection to them. Reflecting the survey’s findings, Variety Latino has ranked the celebrities in a list titled “Power of Latinos: 20 Most Influential Stars,” now available on VarietyLatino.com as part of their Hispanic Heritage Month special content.

Variety Latino commissioned celebrity branding authority Jeetendr Sehdev to survey a random sampling of Hispanic men and women, in both Spanish and English, across a wide range of U.S. cities, incomes, acculturation levels and age groups. Aimed at ranking the overall appeal and influence of Hispanic stars among members of their own community, the survey measured parameters such as perceived authenticity, accessibility, relatability, likability, grace, style, humor, community involvement and activism, and social media popularity.

Among its findings, the survey revealed that 78 percent of people surveyed agree that Latino celebrities who have crossed over into Hollywood from Spanish-language media are good role models for the community, and that 83 percent agree that humor permits a heightened emotional connection and increases engagement with the celebrity—which could explain why Sofia Vergara and Mexican comedian Eugenio Derbez are both ranked No.1 on the list of the 20 Most Influential Stars.

Since its launch in March 2014, the Variety Latino digital destination has experienced sustained growth, recently surpassing 1.5 million monthly unique visitors.

“The enormous –and practically instant– success of the Variety Latino brand has been extremely gratifying and exciting, driving us to continue moving the needle in the industry to provide the Hispanic audiences with the most comprehensive, reliable, up-to-the-minute inside information on the world of entertainment,” said Angie Romero, Editor, Variety Latino. “This landmark ranking of today’s biggest Latino stars as seen through the eyes of the U.S. Hispanic community is just one more example of the kind of exclusive, fascinating content that is making Variety Latino the nation’s most popular digital destination for Spanish-language entertainment news.”

Beyond its home at VarietyLatino.com, Variety Latino features a Hollywood-themed segment on Univision Network’s top-rated news magazine “Primer Impacto,” and biweekly syndicated segments on Univision’s national affiliates. Additionally, Variety Latino is developing weekly original English-language video programming in conjunction with Fusion, a joint venture between Univision and Disney/ABC Television Network.

Hispanic-owned business grow at over twice the national average, report says

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Fox News Latino (www.latino.foxnews.com)

Hispanic-owned businesses across the United States are growing more than twice the national average since 2007, according to a new report.

The Hispanics in Business 2014 study by Geoscape, says Hispanic-owned businesses will grow to 3.22 million by the end of 2014 and exceed $486 billion in annual revenue. The number of Hispanic businesses has increased 43 percent since 2007, the rate of all U.S. businesses increased 18 percent during the same period, and revenue that year was $358 billion.

The growth is significant, the report’s authors say, because it shows that Hispanics are increasingly becoming a major source for employing America’s workers and thereby becoming even more pivotal to the health of the U.S. economy.

“The Non-Hispanic population is older, retiring disproportionate to younger Latinos,” said Cesar Melgoza, CEO and founder of Geoscape. “So as we baby boomers age and continue to retire then greater reliance of Latino businesses will be a fact of life. So as we move forward it becomes everyone’s business that Latinos do well.”

The study suggests the growth is based on, among other things, better digital connectivity, the fact that Latinos use their smart-phones more than anyone else, allowing for “easier promotion and dissemination of great ideas.” Lower barriers to entry and easier access to capital are also credited l for helping foster Latino business growth. Though, still a major issue for entrepreneours, Melgoza says banks like Wells Fargo and Bank of America are doing a better job giving lines of credit to Latino business entreprenours.

Hispanics are more likely than any other ethnicity to start a business, and that spark for entrepreneurship, may actually be an unintended positive consequence from a lack of opportunities in Corporate America.

 

To read the full article on Fox News Latino, click here

Danny Trejo and Richard Rawlings team with Miller Lite to support Latino education

 

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Miller Lite (PRNewsFoto/Miller Lite)

 

Miller Lite is celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with Danny Trejo and Richard Rawlings by making a $10,000 contribution to the ¡Adelante! U.S. Education Leadership Fund. The two celebrities will go head to head during a friendly beer sales competition slated to take place before the start of the Sept. 28 Cowboys game at AT&T Stadium in Dallas.

Trejo, best known for his role in “Machete,” and Richard Rawlings from Discovery Channel’s “Fast N’ Loud,” will each have 30 minutes to sell as much beer as possible in the Miller Lite Corral in order to be declared the winner.

Miller Lite will make a $10,000 donation on behalf of the winning celebrity to ¡Adelante! U.S. Education Leadership Fund, a non-profit organization that focuses on providing leadership development and scholarships for Hispanic college students.

“We are delighted to add extra excitement to the Miller Lite Corral during the game that celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month. We hope consumers also get excited about it and choose to take part in the friendly competition or at least cheer on their favorite celebrity,” saidPaul Stiff, MillerCoors regional alliances manager for the central region of Texas. “We encourage our fans to join in on the celebration, experience our new packaging, and enjoy some Miller Time before the game.”

An on-field check presentation will take place during half-time to announce the winner and present the funds to ¡Adelante!  Miller Lite’s donation will be used to help further the education and professional development of Latino students.

 

To read more, click here

Hispanic Televison Summit lineup includes total market approach, millennials

Major League Soccer, mun2, Telemundo and NBC Sports are among the companies and organizations that will be represented at this year’s Hispanic Television Summit.

 

Key topics at the 12th Annual Hispanic Television Summit, on Thursday, October 2nd at the Marriott Marquis in New York City and presented by Broadcasting & Cable and Multichannel News magazines, will reflect increased interest in the Hispanic TV business by general market executives. Topics include the importance of sports, “total market” approach to media, Hispanic millennials, social consciousness, promotion, multi-screen distribution and the art of storytelling.

Five panels are complemented by keynote interviews and special presentations about the state of Hispanic advertising; sports rights; future distribution of FIFA World Cup and the Olympics; the importance of Mexican soccer; and the role of socially conscious storytelling for millennial Hispanics. Additionally, there will be an awards ceremony in recognition of DISH and Major League Soccer (MLS) for their leadership in Hispanic television. Alfredo Rodriguez, VP Marketing for the DishLATINO brand, will accept for DISH, and Commissioner Don Garber will accept on behalf of Major League Soccer (MLS).

“The general market has taken note of the Hispanic TV business, which is why we have more speakers and first-time registrants from the general market this year,” said Louis Hillelson, Vice President/Group Publisher of Broadcasting & Cable and Multichannel News. “The agenda is suited to provide valuable insights for newcomers, as well as those seasoned in the Hispanic TV business.”

The Hispanic Television Summit is the signature annual conference for those in the business of television and video intended for Hispanic audiences. The Summit attracts about 500 executives representing advertising, brands, programmers, production, pay television, broadcasters, digital, technology suppliers, researchers, marketing firms and financial investors.

 

To read more, click here

New study analyzes Hispanic food shoppers

 

Simmons National Consumer Survey (www.simmonsurvey.com)

 

Spending by Hispanic consumers for food at grocery and other food stores has grown more than 80% over the past decade, more than twice the growth rate registered by consumers on average. Hispanic consumers have long been a key element in the growth strategies of food marketers. With the continuing dispersal of Latinos into areas not traditionally known for substantial Hispanic populations, Hispanic food shoppers represent a rapidly growing segment of the customer base of grocers throughout the country.

Hispanic food shoppers offer a rich but potentially bewildering opportunity for food marketers and retailers. In Los Angeles, for example, stocking the shelves for the “Hispanic” food shopper means understanding the preferences and traditions of shoppers who are mainly Mexicans but also include a substantial population of Salvadorans and Guatemalans. In Miami food stores need to satisfy the expectations of Cubans, Colombians, Venezuelans, Hondurans and Nicaraguans. In New York they need to cater to Puerto Ricans and Dominicans along with shoppers from a wide variety of other countries in Central and South America.

Hispanic Food Shoppers in the U.S. offers critical insights into what food marketers and grocers can do to attract and retain the loyalty of Hispanic food shoppers. One key issue addressed by the report is whether new generations of U.S.-born Latinos have already changed the ground rules for connecting with Hispanic consumers through Spanish-language media and advertisements that appeal to their Latino heritage. Another thread running throughout the report demonstrates how the national heritage of Hispanic shoppers affects what they buy—and don’t buy—in food stores. The report also takes an in-depth look at how the diet, culinary preferences, shopping patterns and buying habits of Hispanic food shoppers create significant opportunities for marketers and retailers.

 

 

The U.S. Census Bureau heeds start of Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated from September 15th through October 15th.
(PRNewsFoto/U.S. Census Bureau)

 

Today marks the start of National Hispanic Heritage Month — a time to recognize the contributions and cultures of the nation’s fastest-growing population group. The idea started as a special week in 1968 and was expanded to a full month 20 years later.

There are 52 million Hispanics in the U.S., 17 percent of the total population, forming the nation’s largest ethnic or racial minority. Over half of that population resides in California, Texas or Florida, and nearly two-thirds are of Mexican background. Twenty-two-and-a-half percent of all elementary and high school students in the U.S. are Hispanic, indicative of a growing population that is expected to reach nearly 129 million by 2060. You can find more facts about America’s people, places and economy, from the American Community Survey, here.