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Faces of Hispanic Heritage Month

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  • Mallory McClure
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The contributions from Hispanic people are found all around us including art, literature, cuisine and film. To recognize these extraordinary contributions, Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated Sept. 15 through Oct. 15.


Hispanic Heritage Month began as Hispanic Heritage Week when it was first introduced in 1968 by President Lyndon B. Johnson, and it was later expanded to a month-long holiday by President Ronald Reagan in 1988. 


In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, Arkansas PBS will be broadcasting television shows and films that highlight the culture and experience of Hispanic people. With multiple ways to stream content, you can now access first-hand Hispanic heritage accounts all from the comfort of your couch.


“Pati’s Mexican Table”


Born and raised in Mexico City, Mexico, Pati Jinich goes by the title of chef, mother, and diplomat. Her recipes will leave you wanting to dive into Hispanic cuisine, and her success story will leave you in admiration of her breadth of skills. Pati began her career as a political analyst in Washington, D.C., where her work was focused on relations between the United States and Mexico. After pursuing a culinary degree, she was named resident chef at the Mexican Cultural Institute in Washington, D.C. Today, Pati is a bestselling author, television host, Emmy nominee and recipient of the “100 Greatest Cooks of all Time” award. The PBS exclusive “Pati’s Mexican Table” provides an exclusive look at the chef and her award-winning recipes. Join her to explore the food and culture of the central state Jalisco in “Season 10,” and taste and see the roots of Tex-Mex cuisine in the PBS exclusive “La Frontera.” The best way to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month is to taste it!



“Letters to Eloisa”


A Cuban writer and poet, José Lezama Lima captures both the beauty and hardship of living near Havana, Cuba, during some of Cuba’s most unstable periods. His most famous novel, “Paradiso,” is told as a coming-of-age story where the main character wrestles with his homosexuality. Lima’s novel was extremely controversial and was published during a time where Cuban politics often silenced creative freedom. Lima was in exile from 1961 and 1976, when he frequently wrote to his sister Eloisa. The “VOCES” feature “Letters to Eloisa” captures the beauty and heartbreak in Lima’s life. This film is a must see as it offers a rare glimpse into communist Cuba.



“La Casa de Mama Icha”


The story of Mama Icha emphasizes the treasure of Hispanic countries: its people. Mama Icha, a Colombian immigrant, moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in search of economic prosperity. Mama Icha had to leave behind her home country of Columbia for decades. The “POV” feature “La Casa de Mama Icha” shows Mama Icha’s journey back to Columbia for the first time. Journey back to Columbia with Mama Icha and experience the nostalgia of visiting the place that shaped her.



“Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It”


An actress, singer and dancer, Rita Moreno is one of the most famous faces of Hispanic Heritage. Moreno is a Puerto Rican born performer who got her start in showbusiness at 11 years old recording voiceovers. Next, she made her Broadway debut, which led her to Hollywood film contracts and movies. However, even more important than her Emmy, Oscar and Tony awards are her contributions to society. Moreno’s career in the entertainment industry was plagued with unfair treatment and sexism. Inside the “American Masters” special, “Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It,” Moreno herself shares about her experiences in the film industry. The documentary made its debut at the Sundance Film Festival and features a star-studded roster of interviewees, including “Hamilton” playwright, composer, lyricist and star Lin-Manuel Miranda. Moreno’s story is a tale of perseverance and success despite the many barriers she faced. You will not want to miss this inspiring and, at times, unfortunate story told in Moreno’s own words.



But, Wait, There’s More …


This is just a glimpse of the programs you can look forward to during Hispanic Heritage Month on Arkansas PBS. Check out more programs coming your way – including “Wonders of Mexico,” “The Hispanic Heritage Awards” and more – at






There are a variety of ways to watch award-winning Arkansas PBS and PBS programs over-the-air and online! Find out how to use the PBS Video app and Arkansas PBS Passport on your phone, tablet or TV, or learn how to watch live streaming at





“Pati’s Mexican Table”

Saturdays at 2 p.m.


“La Frontera”


Friday, Oct. 22, 2021

“From Dos Laredos to Mars,” 8 p.m.


Friday, Oct. 15, 2021

“Miles From Nowhere,” 8 p.m.


Friday, Oct. 15, 2021

“Letters to Eloisa,” 9 p.m.


Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021

“Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It,” 8 p.m.


Monday, Oct. 18, 2021

“La Casa de Mama Icha,” 9 p.m.


“Wonders of Mexico”

Thursdays at 3:30 p.m.


Friday, Oct. 8, 2021

“The Hispanic Heritage Awards,” 8 p.m.