The Smithsonian Latino Center

By: Daniel Nardini

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Commentary In recognition of the role Latinos have and are playing in the United States, the Smithsonian Institution has created an education branch for Latinos (or anyone who wants to know about Latinos) called the Smithsonian Latino Center. The goal of the Smithsonian Latino Center is to highlight the Latino contributions to the arts, sciences, humanities, society, education and politics. The all-encompassing program on the famous and not-so-famous Latino personalities who have left their mark on America is what the center is all about. At its website, the center offers information on K-12 education programs, workshops, youth development programs, online resources, and down-loadable teacher and student materials. In addition, the Smithsonian Latino Center’s website offers news and events, information on its current exhibitions and collections, and current programs.

The Smithsonian Latino Center provides things of interest for children and young adults such as Latin American stories, travel stories to various Latin American and Caribbean countries. The center also has exhibits dealing with history. One of these exhibits is “Legacy: Spain and the United States in the Age of Independence, 1763-1848.” This exhibit deals with how Spain not only helped contribute to the American revolutionaries winning their independence from Great Britain but also the relationship between the young American Republic and the Spanish Empire up to and beyond the independence movements in Latin America. The center deals with many aspects of the Latino experience in the United States, and more than that provides information for Latinos who may not know their heritage.

The Smithsonian Latino Center is located in Washington, D.C. For more information, call the Smithsonian Latino Center at 1-202-633-1240, or go to the website

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