Today marks the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month. In honor of this national celebration, we would like to clarify the differences/relationships between the terms Hispanic, Latino/Latina/Latinx, and Spanish.
Hispanic refers to people, cultures, or countries that are characteristic of or derived from Spain or Spanish-speaking countries*.
Latino/Latina/Latinx includes people who are of Latin American descent**.
Spanish refers to a language or a person from Spain.
* Spanish-speaking countries are those where Spanish is the official language. Depending on how you count, there are 22 Spanish-speaking countries in the world. The five most populous countries where Spanish is the official language are Mexico, Colombia, Spain, Argentina, and Peru.
** Latin-America includes more than 20 countries or territories:
Mexico in North America;
Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama in Central America;
Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay in South America; and,
Cuba, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico in the Caribbean