Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month in Tempe

Hispanic Heritage Month is recognized annually from September 15-October 15. 

Hispanic Heritage Month is a celebration of the history & culture of Hispanic communities and the anniversaries of independence for some Latin American countries, including Mexico, Chile and Belize. 

From day one, the Hispanic community has played a considerable role in Tempe’s history. 

Three hundred years ago, Spanish settlers traveled north of central Mexico into what is now Arizona and started families that would live here for generations, some descendants becoming pioneer settlers of Tempe. 

One of these settlers was Manuela Sánchez Sotelo, also known as the Mother of Tempe. After her husband’s death, she traveled to Tempe to manage the family ranch. She created new American-Mexican relationships, shared her land with other Mexican families and was an early supporter of the new Territorial Normal School in Tempe. Her historic contributions to our city are why we continue to grow today! 

Many Hispanic community members also acted as the backbone of projects that grew Tempe, working on canals, farmland, Charles Trumbull Hayden’s blacksmith & wagon shops and at Hayden Flour Mill, one of the most prominent agricultural industries in the Valley at the time.   

Tempe holds various events to celebrate the strength and honor of our local Hispanic communities!

Movies on the Field: Selena at ASU Sun Devil Stadium | September 30, 2022

Celebrate Latin Heritage Month with Movies on the Field at ASU Sun Devil Stadium. Selena is a biographical drama charting the extraordinary career and tragic death of pop singing sensation Selena as her career transcended the Tejano scene that launched her into mainstream success. Bring a blanket, sit on the grass and enjoy Selena on the big screen under the stars.

Movies on the Field at ASU Sun Devil Stadium
Movies on the Field at ASU Sun Devil Stadium

Guelaguetza at Desert Botanical Garden | October 1-2, 2022 

Enjoy the colorful celebration of Guelagetza at the Desert Botanical Garden! Enjoy art, music, dancing and delicious bites from Oaxaca’s eight regions. Included with general admission to the Desert Botanical Garden.

Guelaguetza at Desert Botanical Garden
Credit: Desert Botanical Garden | Guelaguetza

Tempe Tardeada at Tempe Community Complex | October 2, 2022 

¡Música y baile para todos! Music and dance for everyone! Tempe Tardeada’s mission is to identify and recognize the Hispanic historical roots of Tempe and educate the community with a celebration of the Hispanic culture. This event is free for all, from noon to 8 p.m., at Tempe Community Complex. 

Tempe Tardeada
Credit: City of Tempe | Tempe Tardeada

Lotería Nights at Desert Botanical Garden  | October 6 & November 3, 2022 

Don’t miss your chance to win big at Lotería Nights at Desert Botanical Garden! Once a month, join the garden for rounds of Lotería, a Mexican card game similar to bingo. Play for a chance to win prizes! Admission is $34.95 for general admission, and the game is for ages 21+. 

Noche Mexicana: Canción y Sinfonía  at Tempe Center for the Arts | October 13, 2022 

The School of International Letters and Cultures and Peregrinos y sus Letras present a music gala at Tempe Center for the Arts to close Hispanic Heritage Month. Enjoy music from composers Manuel M. Ponce and José Pablo Moncayo. RSVP for free. 

Día de Muertos at Desert Botanical Garden | October 29-30, 2022

Celebrate Día de Muertos with a two-day festival filled with music, dance and storytelling at the Desert Botanical Garden, October 29-30, 2022. At day’s end, Garden guests are invited to join performers in La Procesión, a procession honoring passed loved ones.

Día de Muertos at Desert Botanical Garden
Credit: Desert Botanical Garden | Día de Muertos

Continue the celebration and dine in Tempe

Tempe, Arizona has a wealth of local dining experiences that support Hispanic entrepreneurs. It’s hard to choose a favorite, so here is a quick list of where to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month in Tempe. Visit our Favorite Mexican Restaurants blog for complete details.

Casa Reynoso 
3138 S. Mill Ave., Tempe, AZ, 85282 | (480) 966-0776 

Tempe’s Casa Reynosa prepares old-style Mexican food perfected since 1938! They pride themselves on providing the freshest meals with the finest ingredients. Try their famous Gollo Burro or one of their carne asada dishes, chimichangas or tacos. 

Los Reyes de la Torta 
1528 E. Southern Ave., Tempe, AZ, 85281 | (480) 491-1314 

If you are looking for authentic Mexican food from the very center of Mexico City, you’ll love Los Reyes de la Torta! Their corn tortillas and salsas are made by hand daily, ensuring every meal is fresh and top-of-the-line. Enjoy tortas, tacos, burritos, chilaquiles and more!  

Rosita’s Fine Mexican Food 
960 W. University Dr. #7, Tempe, AZ, 85281 | (480) 966-0852 

Rosita’s Fine Mexican Food is a Tempe staple! Opened in 1963, Rosa Keeme opened her dream restaurant. Try Rosa’s lovingly-created old-family recipes today, including the “Rosita’s Special,” a large flour tortilla filled with melted cheese and your choice of green chile with beef, seasoned chicken, red chile with beef or shredded beef. 

Raspados Paradise 

5000 S. Arizona Mills Cir., Tempe, AZ 85282 | (480) 456-3761 

Raspados Paradise is the sweet treat paradise that will satisfy your sweet cravings. Raspados, a Mexican-style shaved iced drink made famous in Michoacan, Mexico. Try traditional flavors, like mango, coconut or strawberry and be sure to top with fruit or ice cream! 

1214 S. Rural Rd. Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480)-446-8226 
101 E. Baseline Rd. Tempe, AZ 85283 | (480)-839-8226 

First opened in 1986, you can enjoy heirloom recipes perfected by Isabel Vasquez, who started the restaurant with her family. From tacos and tamales to delicious burros and enchiladas, Someburros offers authentic Sonoran-style Mexican food you’ll never forget! 

Raspados Paradise at Arizona Mills
Raspados Paradise at Arizona Mills

We would love to see photos of you celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month in Tempe or dining at these excellent restaurants! Don’t forget to tag us on Instagram: @tempetourism or #OurTempe

Written Alicia Griffith

Alicia is an ASU Alumna and Tucson native who is unapologetically herself. When she is not sharing her passion for Tempe, she is a devoted dog mom and reality TV enthusiast who has a weakness for charcuterie boards and wine!

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