ABOUT TAMPA HISPANIC HERITAGE INC.
Tampa Hispanic Heritage, Inc. (THHI) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded in 1979. THHI serves as an umbrella for Tampa Bay Area Hispanic groups and other interested parties who want to share the rich Spanish language, culture and traditions with the community during Tampa's Hispanic Heritage Celebration.
Each year Tampa Hispanic Heritage presents a diversified calendar of events that is educational, entertaining, and exciting. From the Mayor's official proclamation of the Hispanic Heritage month to the Inaugural Gala, from the Hispanic Leadership Class to the Annual Essay and Poster Contests, yearly festivities generate tremendous community involvement and excitement.
Our vision is to contribute to the cultural richness of the Tampa Bay community fostering among Hispanic youth a desire for higher education and leadership to become examples and advocates of our language, music, food, traditions and values.
Our mission is to promote, preserve, and celebrate the Hispanic heritage in the Tampa Bay area.
Tampa's rich Hispanic roots can be traced to the early conquistadors who named what is now Old Tampa Bay, La Bahia del Espiritu Santo, (Bay of the Holy Spirit.) However, it was at the turn of the century with the advent of the cigar factories that Tampa's Hispanic population increased tremendously with the influx of Spanish and Cuban immigrants. In recent years, the Tampa Bay area has experienced a boom in its Hispanic population, this time being enriched by immigrants from Central and South America, as well as the Caribbean. In 1975, President Gerald Ford proclaimed the first Hispanic Heritage Month in the United States. That year a committee of Hispanics appointed by the then Tampa Mayor William F. Poe organized the first Hispanic Heritage Celebration in Tampa. The 1975 celebration consisted of a simple ceremony on Columbus day at his statue on Bayshore Blvd. in Tampa. As years passed, the mayoral committee became part of Tampa's Sister cities, but in 1979, as the enthusiasm for the annual celebration grew, Tampa Hispanic Heritage, Inc. became autonomous. With the increase and variety of the Hispanic population, Tampa Bay Area Hispanics felt the need to share their roots with the entire community. The celebration of Tampa's Hispanic Heritage has expanded from the once simple ceremony to a ninety plus event days in the months of September, October and November each year.