7 Influential Hispanic Females in History

Today marks the first day of National Hispanic Heritage Month! Integrate some time into your lesson plan to teach your students about Hispanic history, impact, and significance! Below is a list of influential Hispanic female figures throughout history: women who have changed the world of art, economy, justice, and/or politics. This lesson is a great way to show your students about unity, acceptance, and empowerment.

1. Frida Kahlo

A recognized figure in art history and icon for Chicanos, feminists, and the LGBT community, Frida Kahlo's work became an emblem of Mexican identity and traditions. Her art is highly acclaimed to be Mexico's national cultural heritage and her legacy has become a staple in our culture.

2. Dolores Huerta

The originator of the phrase, "Sí se puede," Huerta is a labor leader and civil rights activist. She helped champion for rights of workers in agricultural fields, alongside Cesar Chavez, and co-founded the National Farmworkers Association. Her dedication towards activism awarded her the United States Presidential Elanor Roosevelt Award for Human Rights and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

3. Sonia Sotomayor

Sonia Maria Sotomayor is the first Hispanic woman to serve in the Supreme Court of the United States. She graduated from Princeton and Yale University.

4. Ellen Ochoa


In 1993, Ellen Ochoa became the first Hispanic woman in the world to go to space. She earned her masters and doctorate degree from Stanford University, before working as a NASA researcher. She has received the NASA's Exceptional Service Medal (1997), Outstanding Leadership Medal (1995), and Space Flight Medals from the years 1993 - 2002.

5. Rigoberta Menchú

Rigoberta Menchú is a Guatemalan political activist who fought for the rights of Guatemala's indigenous feminists. She received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1992 and the Prince of Asturias Award in 1998.

6. Michelle Bachelet

Michelle Bachelet is the first female president in her country of Chile. She then became the executive director of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, before being re-elected as president again.

7. Selena Quintanilla-Pérez

The Queen of Tejano music, Selena's impact on music made her one of the most celebrated Mexican-American musicians of our time. She was the first female Tejano artist to win a Grammy in 1994.

These women have shaped and changed the world for not only Hispanic people, but also for the world. Happy Hispanic Heritage Month!

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