Virtual Classroom @ Your Library

Welcome to the Abilene Public Library’s Virtual Classroom.  This space will offer a new place for youth, teens, and adults to learn more about a variety of topics, with new content added regularly.

For each class, we'll share background information, educational videos, lesson plans, resources available for continued learning and more. Plus, we’ll offer a link to a test we’d appreciate if you completed to show what you learned!

Let's Learn About Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 - Oct. 15)

National Hispanic Heritage Month September 15 through October 15

Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. 

The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988, on the approval of Public Law 100-402. 

The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September18, respectively. Also, Columbus Day or Día de la Raza, which is October 12, falls within this 30 day period. 

Source: https://purl.fdlp.gov/GPO/gpo114731

History of Latino Americans in the Americas from PBS
Episode 1Episode 2Episode 3
Episode 4Episode 5Episode 6
Hispanic Arts and Music
Ballet Folklórico México Danza performing a Jalisco dance piece focr the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival in June 18, 2016. This performance highlights Jalisco style of dancing but there are many others that reflect regions like Chihuahua and Sinaloa.  But more broadly include Salsa, Mambo, Merengue, Rumba, Cha Cha Cha, Bachata and Samba. Spanish dance styles include the Fandango, Bolero, Sevillanas, Sardana, Jota and the one most known, the Flamenco.

Mariachi Sol De Mexico, led by GRAMMY-nominated conductor/bandleader Jose Hernandez, recently visited The Recording Academy for an exclusive performance of the mariachi standard Guadalajara



Annually, in June, before Inti Raymi, Cusco has weeks of events called Fiestas del Cusco. Day after day there are hundreds of Andean and Peruvian traditional dance groups along with traditional music in the main plaza.


Slideshow with images from Peru. There are pictures from Lima, Inca's ruin, Ollantaytambo, Arequipa, Cusco, Titicaca, Machu Pichu. The music is "Susurro" Music written by Rodolfo Parada, from Quilapayún group from Chile  and played by a  peruvian group called Perumanta. You can find a group like this one in all world playing at streets.


El Salvado Folk Dance at the South American Latino Festival in Federation Square.  6/13/2010.Folk music and images of the countries that they originate from in Central America.

Hispanic Cuisine

Mexican Street Food in Oaxaca, Mexico, is some of the BEST street food in the world

The Mistura Festival is known as the biggest food festival in South America. Here you can find food from all over Peru from the coastal seafood to the Amazonian typical dishes.


Explore the colorful cuisine of South America with passionate chefs and home-cooks. Host Maeve O'Meara joins chef Jorge Chacon to learn about the particular flavors and ingredients that make South American food really special. Chef Juan Gomez makes Colombian style arepas and Chilean musician Gema Badiola prepares a fragrant, all-purpose salsa called pebre.Best Ever Food Review Show highlights Cuban village food and how it is cooked. Notes on how to prepare the food items seen are available in the notes section.

Hispanic Holidays


  1. Resources
  2. Lesson Plans
  3. Activities
  4. Test Your Knowledge

The following resources are available in your local public library.  The Main and Mockingbird branch host collections of Spanish film.  The films listed here are geared toward a younger audience or families with children.  

  • Public Broadcasting Station.  Latino Americans. PBS.org. accessed 09/24/2020 http://www.pbs.org/latino-americans/en/watch-videos/#2365043221
  • Gregory, N. (2007). Selena [DVD]. Burbank, CA: Warner Brothers Pictures. 
  • Valdez, L. (1987). La Bamba [DVD]. Culver City, California: Columbia Pictures.