Discovery inside the Presidio, San Francisco (credit: Laurie Jo Miller Farr)

San Francisco and its rich Hispanic heritage are highlighted during National Hispanic Heritage Month, celebrated nationwide from September 15 through October 15 since it began as a week-long event in 1968. According to the Library of Congress, the time of year incorporates Columbus Day as well as the anniversary of independence for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico and Chile.

With the Cine+Mas Latino Film Festival and the San Francisco Giants’ Latino Heritage Night behind us, let’s look at a few more ways to connect to Hispanic Heritage Month.

El Presidio Archeology Excavation
Pershing Square, Main Post
Presidio, San Francisco, CA 94129
(415) 561-5300
Dates: Oct. 2-4 and 9-11, 2014 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The ground you walk on was once home to the native Ohlone people, a fortress claimed by Spain and later Mexico. Witness a live dig, exploring what’s beneath it all. A fruitful six-month excavation project at the site of this 1776 garrison, outpost of the colonial New Spain, resulted in an array of artifacts with interpretive exhibits to go on display in the new Presidio Heritage Gallery at the restored Officers’ Club. The Mesa Room even provides a look at the club’s original adobe walls dating to around 1800.

View from the Officers’ Club, The Presidio, San Francisco (credit: Laurie Jo Miller Farr)

The Presidio Officers’ Club Opening Festivities
50 Moraga Ave., Main Post
Presidio, San Francisco, CA 94129
(415) 561-5300
Dates: Oct. 4-5, 2014

Past, present and future collide in the Presidio, where San Francisco starts. Join the free weekend celebrations when live music and dance mark the official opening of the historic adobe-walled Officers’ Club, California Historical Landmark No. 79, following its multi-million dollar rehabilitation. Children’s activities, new multi-media exhibitions and the club’s brand new Mexican-themed restaurant, Arguello, become part of San Francisco’s next great cultural destination as exciting public programming is rolled out for the first time.

Tango in the Square
Union Square, 333 Post St.
San Francisco, CA 94108
(415) 477-2610
Date: Oct. 5, 2014 at 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Enjoy free tango lessons for everybody in Union Square. These cosmopolitan gentlemen from Trio Garufa take us on a musical tour of Argentina and the steps to go with it. Union Square Live presents a free opportunity to spend an afternoon with the talented group that has performed at Buenos Aires’ largest dance clubs, throughout Latin America and at major venues across the USA.

Family Music Night with Susan Peña and Miguel Govea
Richmond Branch Public Library
351 9th Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94118
(415) 355-5600
Date: Oct. 5, 2014 at 7 p.m.

Often accompanied by their own daughters, this family band has been performing joyful music for Bay Area audiences for 30 years, from Davies Symphony Hall to St. Quentin Prison. It’s a bilingual evening of interactive traditional and folk songs with a diverse sound that mixes instruments and styles to get everybody on their feet, so don’t be shy. Bring children of all ages for a good time. Also, there will be a Eureka Valley Library outdoor performance at 4 p.m. The event is free.

Mission Dolores, San Francisco’s oldest structure (credit: Laurie Jo Miller Farr)

A Walking Tour of Mission Dolores
Church St. at 20th St.
San Francisco, CA 94114

Dates: Oct. 5, 12, and 19, 2014 at 11 a.m.

San Francisco’s Mission District neighborhood is also home to the oldest surviving mission in California with a cemetery and gardens from the early 19th century. The oldest structure in the city, Misión San Francisco de Asis, was founded in 1776. Your San Francisco City Guide volunteer provides a wealth of information about the 238-year history of the Mission District, from the 18th century legacy of Father Junipero Serra to the famous Mission murals to the best taquerias in town. Explore on foot for approximately 90 minutes. No dogs, no reservations for groups of seven or less and no charge, although donations for the non-profit group are welcome.

Fort Mason, San Francisco (credit: Laurie Jo Miller Farr)

“Culinary Arts and Culture Come Alive”
The Mexican Museum
Fort Mason Center
2 Marina Boulevard
San Francisco, CA 94123
(415) 202-9700
Dates: Open Wed. through Sun., 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. (through Jan. 18, 2015)

As with many strongly defined cultures, food and the preparation of good food are integral to socializing. The Rosa and Miguel Covarrubias Collection gives us a glimpse into the 20th century power couple’s extraordinary life together through Rosa’s personal ceramics, cooking utensils and vintage photographs from Tizapán, Mexico. The museum, founded in 1975, has a permanent collection of 14,000 art pieces related to aesthetic expression of the Mexican, Chicano and Latino experience from pre-historic to contemporary. The museum is in association with the Smithsonian Institute; admission is free.

Laurie Jo Miller Farr loves walkable cities. A tourism industry professional and transplanted New Yorker by way of half-a-lifetime in London, she’s writing about the best of the bay and beyond for Yahoo, USA Today, eHow, and on