National Hispanic Heritage Month

September 15, 2023

Each year from September 15 to October 15, we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and the cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central, and South America. First established in 1968 under President Lyndon Johnson, it later expanded to a 30-day national celebration as observed today by President Ronald Reagan. 

Many Hispanic/Latino families immigrated to the US for a better life and more opportunities. In fact, U.S. railroads employed a large population of them (mostly of Mexican descent), between the mid-19thand–early-20th centuries. Known as traqueros, these railroad workers relocated to the Midwest and western parts of the country, and many lived in boxcars only a few feet away from railroad tracks.  

Mexican box car rail workers standing on unbuilt tracks
Unidentified group of Mexican railroad workers, courtesy of New Mexico History Museum

As the most convenient and affordable way to work along tracks, boxcars became a permanent home to many workers and families, although living and working conditions were suboptimal. By 1925, about 1.8 million workers were employed by U.S. railroads 

To learn more, check out the Boxcar People documentary, which highlights the personal stories and struggles of Mexican railroad workers and families.  

How you can celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

There are many ways to celebrate Hispanic heritage all year-long. From museums, dining, and shopping in San Francisco’s Mission District, Oakland’s Fruitvale District, and in many San Jose neighborhoods, there’s no shortage of places to visit along Capitol Corridor’s route!


Take the train to an event! Events below are near stations along Capitol Corridor’s route. With our seamless connections to BART, buses, and light rail, getting to your destination is easy.

September 15 – October 15, 2023: (San Jose) There are various Hispanic Heritage Events at the Mexican Heritage Plaza, MACLA, and Peralta Adobe.

Friday, September 22, 2023: (Oakland) Friday Nights at OMCA is the place to be for celebratory and meaningful things to see and be part of, with plenty of signature features including Off the Grid food trucks as well as music, dancing, late-night access to OMCA’s award-winning galleries with a Museum ticket, and more. Many of their September programs celebrate Latinx Heritage Month. Check out the first one! 

Saturday, September 30 – October 1, 2023: (Oakland) Join Children’s Fairyland for the Latinx Heritage Celebration in the park for a vibrant, uplifting, and inspired weekend of family fun honoring the heritages and cultures within the Latinx community.  

Friday, October 13, 2023: (Sacramento) Celebrate the new exhibit Arte Activista: Dia de los Muertos 2023 at the California Museum’s annual Día de los Muertos Fiesta!
Register HERE 

Sunday, October 29, 2023: (Sacramento) Immerse yourself in the rich sounds and melodies of Mariachi music as talented musicians take the stage at the iconic Sacramento Memorial Auditorium.
Register HERE