Photo: Dia del Niño
This year marks the 13th annual celebration of El Día de los Niños (Celebrating Young Americans) in the U.S.-, a day where children throughout the country are honored.
The National Latino Children’s Institute has led the efforts to establish the day in the United States and has garnered support of Latino leaders and organizations, state and local officials and corporations. Since 1998 NLCI has worked closely with the U.S. Senate to pass an annual resolution recognizing April 30 as El Día de los Niños-Celebrating Young Americans.
This day was established to ensure that communities honor children, their rights, wellbeing and importance in this country. In Mexico and other Latin American countries, a day is traditionally set aside to commemorate young people; in the U.S. it is a gift from Latino children to all the young people in the country to celebrate childhood.
Special events are planned across the country to celebrate El Día de los Niños: in Ohio, 53,000 children will participate in celebrations at the Columbus City schools. Cities in California, Arizona, Texas, North Carolina, New York, Idaho, Utah and New Jersey, have planned parades, fairs and other cultural events. Each celebration is unique to its community, but all will acknowledge the future of the city─their children.
The new Census data has underscored the changes in the country’s demographics. Hispanics are now 16 percent of the population, up 46.3 percent in the last decade. This accounted for 56 percent of the population growth during that period. Today, one fourth of all children born are Hispanic. By 2050, one in three will be Hispanic.
El Día de los Niños was first celebrated in the United States in 1998 with a parade and events in San Antonio, Texas. Since then, more than 100 cities have participated, and the U.S. Senate has passed a unanimous resolution each year designating April 30 asEl Día de los Niños-Celebrating Young Americans.