Hispanic Heritage Month runs from September 15 to October 15 every year, “celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America (from HispanicHeritageMonth.gov). While it’s important to continue learning about cultures throughout the year, Hispanic Heritage Month offers a chance to highlight Latin American cultures; communities often offer museum exhibits, folkloric dancing, children’s activities and even parades during this time.
Today I’m sharing the biographies of 5 famous Latinos, plus resources to learn about their contributions to US society: an astronaut, a teacher, an author, an athlete, and a scientist.
5 Famous Latinos for Kids
1. Ellen Ochoa: Astronaut
Even though she was teased in school for liking science, nothing stopped Ellen Ochoa from achieving her dreams of becoming an astronaut! Now she is Dr. Ellen Ochoa, the first Hispanic woman to ever go into space, an inventor, a mother, and a mentor for young girls.
Read this Scholastic biography of Ellen Ochoa and check out this video where she is interviewed:
2. Jaime Escalante: Teacher
Jaime Escalante was born to two teachers of Aymara ancestry in Bolivia, and taught math and physics. When he immigrated to the US he taught himself English and went to college. Jaime Escalante is well known for teaching Calculus at an under-performing school in Los Angeles. He inspired and encouraged and motivated poor students at record numbers to take and pass the AP Calculus class, despite many cynics who didn’t believe in him.
Read this kid-friendly biography of Jaime Escalante and check out this video where he is interviewed:
3. Pat Mora: Author
Pat Mora is a Latina author of poetry, nonfiction and children’s books. Pat Mora founded the community-based, family literacy initiative, El Día de los Niños, El Día de los Libros/ Children’s Day. Her goal is to promote literacy and a love of books in children. In her children’s books, she focuses on the rich cultural diversity in the towns around the border between Mexico and the US. My kids love her books!!
Here is a great interview where she speaks on how she became an author, and how all books are culture:
4. Mario Molina: Nobel Prize Winning Scientist
Mario Molina grew up in Mexico loving science. His aunt, who was a chemist, used to make up experiments for him and he was soon doing projects that rivaled university work. He studied in Europe and the United States, and got his PhD. Molina is most known for his Nobel Prize winning work in understanding how the ozone layer is formed and depleted—particularly by chemicals such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs); this crucial work in atmospheric chemistry had a profound impact on our environment.
Read this Scholastic biography of Mario Molina to discover how he became a scientist and more about his discoveries.
5. Roberto Clemente: Baseball Player & Humanitarian
Our final pick for this famous Latinos list is Roberto Clemente was born in Puerto Rico, and played baseball as a child. He later was drafted for the Pittsburgh Pirates and had a stunning career playing 15 Al-Star Games, reaching the 3000 hits milestone, and being named MVP of the year. People also remember Roberto Clemente as a humanitarian, who worked in the off-season organizing charity drives and donating his time and money. He once said “If you have a chance to help others, and you fail to do so, you’re wasting your time on this Earth.” When Roberto died in a plane crash in 1972, he was on his way to deliver supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.
Read this kid-friendly biography of Roberto Clemente and check out this video of his life:
Welcome to the Third Annual Hispanic Heritage Month Blog Hop, hosted this year by Multicultural Kid Blogs and 22 of our member blogs!
Hispanic Heritage Month runs from September 15 to October 15 every year, “celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America” (from HispanicHeritageMonth.gov)
MKB Hispanic Heritage Month Blog Hop: Participating Blogs.
Now that you’ve learn about 5 inspiring famous Latinos, check out all our partners who are sharing more about Hispanic Heritage for kids:
Multicultural Kid Blogs All Done Monkey Spanish Playground
Kid World Citizen Mommy Maestra Kids Yoga Stories Inspired by Familia
Entre Compras y El Hogar Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes
Spanglish House Crafty Moms Share Toddling in the Fast Lane
Mama Tortuga Our Whole Village
Changing Plate A Life With Subtitles Spanish Mama
Pragmatic Mom Daria’s Music My Favorite Multicultural Books
Leanna Alldonemonkey says
I love this post! So important to learn about these trail blazers and role models!
What a great selection of role models!!
I have looked for information like this before– thanks for pulling this together!
Nice post! I loved reading about these inspiring individuals.
Sarah Quezada (@SarahQuezada) says
It’s so important for our children to see Hispanic Role Models. Thank you so much!
ellen ochoa was the first to become the alldena astornot in 1991 she was the first saldinain astornot in space in 1993 but women were not allowed to become astornot ellen ochoa was born in la ca