American Latino Heritage Theme Study

Latino history is American history.

American Latinos and the Making of the United States: A Theme Study is a publication of the National Park System Advisory Board (NPSAB) for the National Park Service (NPS).

En Español: Los Latinos-Estadounidenses y la Creación de los Estados Unidos: Un Estudio Temático

Who is this theme study for? It's for students and teachers, for researchers, for preservation professionals, for local, state and federal government officials, and for the general public. In other words, it's for you.

The theme study presents opportunities in communities nationwide

  • the most recent scholarship in Latino history is now available to a broad public audience;
  • historic preservationists in government agencies and the private sector now have a tool to help identify and evaluate Latino-related places for historical significance;
  • more of these places are likely to be nominated to the National Register of Historic Places and for National Historic Landmark designation.

Historian Stephen Pitti's core essay sets the stage for the essays in the theme study. This overview of the Latino journey is personified in five historical figures: the Cuban priest Félix Varela, the Mexican American author María Amparo Ruiz de Burton, the Puerto Rican bibliophile Arturo Alfonso Schomburg, the Guatemalan civil rights organizer Luisa Moreno, and the Mexican American politician Edward Roybal.

NPS Advisory Board Letter (.pdf | 347kb)
American Latino Theme Study Acknowledgements (.pdf | 258kb)
American Latino Theme Study Introduction
American Latino Theme Core Essay
Further Readings / Bibliography (.pdf | 433kb)
Author Biographies
Scholar Panel Biographies

American Latino Heritage NHL Registration Guidelines (Addendum – 2022)

Making a Nation, the first section, discusses US nation building - both physcially and intellectually - from the 16th to the 20th centuries.

Making a Life looks at the ways Latinos have created their religious, artistic, recreational, and culinary lives in the United States.

Making a Living highlights the role of Latinos in fostering and sustaining American economic life.

Making a Democracy discusses the stories and struggles for equality in all aspects of American society.

Chapters from American Latinos and the Making of the United States: A Theme Study

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    Last updated: June 20, 2023