National Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic culture has greatly shaped Arizona’s history. From art and architecture to music and cuisine, the local influence of Hispanic culture cannot be overstated.

National Hispanic Heritage Month – which covers the period from September 15 – October 15 was first established by President Johnson as a weeklong celebration in 1968. Twenty years later, President Reagan extended the celebration from a week to a month.

Here at DAZL, we are excited to share some our collections that celebrate the Hispanic cultural contributions to Arizona history.

“Portrait of Luisa Ronstadt Espinal, circa 1921” Mexican Heritage Project, Arizona Historical Society Library and Archives, Tucson.

Arizona Memory Project

  • Mexican Heritage Project, Arizona Historical Society Library and Archives, Tucson : an exhibit of photographs that document the story of Tucson’s Mexican American community from the Gadsen Purchase until World War II.
  • Rosa Ronquillo Rhodes – The Life of the Redington Ranch Postmistress, Postal History Foundation: the youngest of 12 children, Rosa was the first member of her family to learn to read.  She served as the postmistress in Redington, Arizona  1922 – 1936, a position that was central to the community.
  • Arizona Latina Trailblazers, Raul H. Castro Institute and Latino Perspectives: this collection of videos shines a spotlight on Latina pioneers in government, business, law politics, music and arts.


Reading Arizona

  • Officer, James E., Hispanic Arizona : 1536-1856, University of Arizona Press, 1989. This work covers Indian relations, the Mexican War, boundary problems, the Gadsen Purchase, ranching, architecture, local politics and much more.
  • Peixotto, Ernest, Our Hispanic Southwest. Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1916.  This work seeks to describe in detail the history and culture of the old Spanish Missions and settlements scattered throughout Arizona, New Mexico and along the border of Texas. The author pays particular attention to the area around the Grand Canyon and Tucson in the chapter dedicated to Arizona.
  • Hayes, Joe, Mona Pennypacker and Vicki Trego Hill. La Llorona. Cinco Puntos, 2006. The most popular cuento of Hispanic America, this story of the weeping woman appears at first to be only a frightening tale filled with mysterious events … but it’s the eternal wisdom at the core of the story that works its magic into children’s hearts.