Sep 30, 2021

Celebrating Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month: What’s the Difference Between Hispanic, Latino, and Spanish?

With Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month in full swing, we thought this would be the perfect opportunity to highlight a fantastic resource (discovered by NGPF’s very own Yanely Espinal) that discusses the difference between Hispanic, Latino, and Spanish


Featured Resource and Activity Idea: Video



While many people and the media may use the terms Hispanic, Latino, and Spanish interchangeably, they all represent different identities! Kat Lazo, host of the Bustle video What's the difference between Hispanic, Latino, and Spanish?, highlights the importance of using appropriate language and encourages us to think about the historical, geographical, and cultural factors that shape these identities. 


Through on-the-spot interviews, she tackles common misconceptions and identifies how these socially constructed labels are still flawed today.


Note: This video was created in 2015, before the gender-neutral term, Latinx, was popularized as an alternative to the pan-ethnic terms “Latino” and “Latina.”


After watching this video, you might invite your students to discuss some of the questions below in pairs, groups, or as a whole class! 

  1. Recap: what is the difference between Hispanic, Latino/Latina/Latinx, and Spanish?
  2. Why do you think so many people use these terms and identities interchangeably when they are actually different? 
  3. How might the history of Spanish colonization impact someone’s choice of whether or not they want to identify as Hispanic? 
  4. What is one misconception you had that this video addressed? 
  5. How might the terms we identify with in today’s society still be flawed?



NGPF will be featuring Latinx/Hispanic financial leaders and educators in many of our weekly Speaker Series and Virtual PDs this month. Here are two upcoming opportunities:


Learn more here about how NGPF is celebrating Latinx/Hispanic Heritage month!

About the Author

Sonia Dalal

Sonia has always been passionate about instruction and improving students' learning experiences. She's come a long way since her days as a first grader, when she would "teach" music and read to her very attentive stuffed animals after school. Since then, she has taught students as a K-12 tutor, worked in several EdTech startups in the Bay Area, and completed her Ed.M in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She is passionate about bringing the high quality personal finance content and instruction she wished she'd received in school to the next generation of students and educators. When she isn't crafting lesson guides or working with teachers, Sonia loves to spend her time singing, being outdoors, and adventuring with family and friends!

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