Hispanic Heritage Month

latin american flags reading Hispanic Heritage month.

Celebremos Juntos! The Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences celebrates September Hispanic Heritage Month, and we invite you to honor the culture that brings warmth, solidarity and compassion to a whole new level.

Hispanic culture is so much more than fun dancing, extraordinary food and colorful landscapes. Figures of Hispanic heritage have made incredible contributions to society and medicine, making a difference in the life of others. This September, to honor our Latinx community, we’ll give you a portrait of some history, culture and prominent figures — and we’ll share with you different ways to get involved.

History of Hispanic Heritage Month

Drawing of Frida Khalo surrounded by plants and leaves. It has writing that says “Hispanic Power.”.

In September 1968, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed an executive order for the creation of Hispanic Heritage Week. In 1988, President Ronald Reagan extended it to a full 30 days of celebration. 

But September was not randomly chosen as the month we honor Hispanic culture.

During this month, several Latin American independence days are celebrated as well — in different and extraordinary ways.

For instance:

  • Guatemala lights up antorchas — representing the celebratory journey through Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica — that announce Guatemala’s independence.
  • Mexico starts cooking delicious chiles en nogada to represent the Mexican flag: chile (green), cream sauce (white) and pomegranate seeds (red).
  • Chile opens fondas where people gather to dance, drink and eat with family and friends.

The United States observes the rich and vibrant Hispanic culture through festivals, shows, art, community gatherings and many more events.

Events and Resources at UB

GSPHA: Submissions for LatinX/Latino/Hispanic Representation Matters Initiative

GSPHA logo sorrounded in a circle with hispanic flags.

The Graduate Student Prehealth Association Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month.

The GSPHA is looking for submissions from latinx/latino/hispanic UB Graduate Students, GSPHA Members, faculty and staff to join our representation matters initiative.

We want to commemorate your work and accomplishments!!

The represenation matters initiave, founded in 2021 by Beatrice Gonzalez, MS founder of the graduate student prehealth association (GSPHA), is a cultural recognition initiative during heritage months to increase the visibility of BIPOC individuals at the university at Buffalo by amplyfying the voices of students, faculty and staff and celebrating their triumphs and contributions in STEM and health care.

If you would like to participate, complete this google form


LMSA Presenta

Paper flags at the top with different colors and maracas at the bottom reads in between HISPANOS UNIDOS.

Save the Date!

Come celebrate Hispanic Heritage month with food, crafts, music, and performances at the first annual Hispanos Unidos presented by LMSA partening with Hispanic Hertage Council and SNMA

September 22nd

6-8 pm

955 Main St (Medical School Campus)

Tickets are $10!! Get yours here

This will be a passport themed event! You will pick up your passport, visit the different Hispanic countries to get your passport stamped, try your favorite hispanic food, and learn about the different countries through arts and crafts! 

(Make sure to log into your student account when you get to the website so that the ticket shows up.)

Tickets are limited so get your tickets as soon as you can! We can’t wait to celebrate with all of you!

Affinity Groups

Network, reach out or simply be part of something new.

These resources within UB will help you reach a new level of cultural competency in the Hispanic community:

“You are not lucky to be here. The world needs your perspective. They are lucky to have you.”

— Antonio Tijerino, President and CEO of the Hispanic Heritage Foundation

Learn Some Spanish With Us

Need to polish your medical Spanish skills? We are here to help!


Abdominal pain


Helpful and compassionate phrases

In English

Does your stomach hurt? May I examine it? Does it always hurt? Or just sometimes?

Are you feeling sad? How long have you been feeling this way? Do you have a hard time sleeping at night? Thanks for sharing how you feel with me.

How can I help you? I will try to find out. Need a translator? Do you understand? Don’t be scared. You will be OK.

In Spanish

Le duele el estomago? Se lo puedo examinar? Le duele siempre? O a veces?

Se siente triste? Por cuanto tiempo se ha sentido asi? Tiene problemas para dormir? Gracias por compartir lo que usted siente conmigo.

Lo puedo ayudar? Voy a intentar averiguar. Necesita un traductor? Entiende lo que le digo? No tenga miedo. Usted va a estar bien.

Fun Facts

Hispanic vs. Latino: Not the same!

“Hispanic” refers to people who speak Spanish and/or are descended from Spanish-speaking populations. It is not the same for “Latino” (or Latina or Latinx), which refers to people who are from or descended from people from Latin America. Know the difference!

American culture

A lot of “American” culture was brought in by Hispanics: cowboy hats, names like the states of Colorado or Florida, barbecue (originated between the Spanish and the Caribbean traditions) and even the dollar sign, derived from symbols related to the Spanish currency circulating in the American colonies.

Populating the U.S.

In the United States, Hispanics have reached around 60.6 million, equivalent to 18.5 percent of the entire population of the United States. It is expected that by 2050 this number will rise to 30 percent.

Those ‘weird’ tildes

The Spanish language uses tildes in some vowels, to accent that syllable in some words. The grammar is at times complex. But did you know the weird line above the n is a tilde as well? Do you know how to pronounce it? Show your skills the next time you have the opportunity!

Honoring Our Hispanic Community at the Jacobs School

The Graduate Student PreHealth Association honored this year some active members of our Jacobs School Community. Diversity of thought and statements supporting representation in healthcare, were brought by Beatrice Gonzalez, MS in this compilation.

Honoring Hispanic Scientists

The field of medicine and science would not be the same if it was not for the contributions that multiple Hispanics have made to their fields. Please take a moment to learn about some of the most prominent Hispanic figures we would like to honor for this year’s Hispanic Heritage Month.

Severo Ochoa portrait.
Antonia Novello Portrait.
Helen Rodriguez Trias Portrait.
Santiago Ramon y Cajal portrait.

Severo Ochoa

A Spanish medical doctor, biochemist and educator. Ochoa’s research has dealt mainly with enzymatic processes in biological oxidation and synthesis and the transfer of energy. He obtained the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1959 for his “discovery of the mechanisms in the biological synthesis of ribonucleic acid and deoxyribonucleic acid.”

Antonia Novello

A Puerto Rican physician and public health administrator. Novello served as 14th Surgeon General of the United States from 1990 to 1993, becoming the first woman and first Hispanic to serve as Surgeon General. She also served as Coordinator for AIDS Research for Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. In addition, Novello made major contributions to the drafting and enactment of the Organ Transplantation Procurement Act of 1984.

Helen Rodríguez Trías

A public health expert and women’s rights activist. Born in New York City to Puerto Rican parents, she is the first Latina director of the American Public Health Association. She became aware that unsuspecting Puerto Rican women were being sterilized and that the United States was using Puerto Rico as a laboratory for the development of birth control technology. In 1970, she founded a Committee to End Sterilization Abuse. 

Santiago Ramón y Cajal

Santiago Ramón y Cajal was a Spanish neuroscientist, pathologist and histologist specializing in neuroanatomy and the central nervous system. He and Camillo Golgi received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1906. Ramón y Cajal was the first person of Spanish origin to win a scientific Nobel Prize.

Hispanic Guide in Buffalo

Get Involved! Participa!

Special Acknowledgement

Our Hispanic Heritage Month webpage was built in collaboration with LMSA and the Student National Medical Association. Special thanks to all the individuals that contributed with ideas, information and links.