Since 2001, Google has paid tribute to important figures through its doodles. These temporary alterations in the design of the search engine have served to remember musicians, artists, scientists and all kinds of personalities who in one way or another have influenced the world and society we know today. Therefore, we will take a look at a few – of the many – doodles that the search engine has dedicated to the most notable Latinos.
Within the framework of Hispanic Heritage Month —Which is held from September 15 to October 15 to celebrate the contributions of this community in the United States—, we present a selection of small graphic tributes that Google has dedicated influential Latino personalities.
On September 15, 2021, the honoree was Dr. Ildaura Murillo-Rohde (1920-2010), a Panamanian-American nurse and educator who founded the National Association of Hispanic Nurses. Murillo-Rohde was also a consultant at the World Health Organization (WHO) and a representative of UNICEF.
In September 2019, the tribute went to Ynes Mexia (1870-1938), a Mexican-American botanist known for her collection of new plant specimens from regions of Mexico and South America. Mexia braved earthquakes and all manner of adversity to reach a remote volcano on the border of Colombia and Ecuador, all for the sake of botanical discoveries.
Google paid tribute to the Cuban charismatic (1925-2003) with a doodle on October 21, 2013, the day the artist would have turned 88.
On February 21, 2020, on the 91st anniversary of his birth, Google recalled Roberto Gómez Bolaños (1929-2014), actor, comedian, playwright, writer, screenwriter, musical composer, director, and Mexican television producer known for writing, direct and star in television series Chespirito (1970-1973, 1980-1995), El Chavo del Ocho (1973-1980) and El Chapulín Colorado (1973-1979).
On the 146th anniversary of the Nicaraguan poet’s birth (1867-1916), on January 18, 2013, Google published a doodle in reference to his dark and beautiful poem “El Cisne”.
On November 8, 2019, the Google doodle paid tribute to the Chilean hyperrealist artist Claudio Bravo Camus (1936-2011), whose work was capable of capturing the beauty of the most everyday objects. Camus’ art led him to create over six decades more than 500 works with Renaissance, Spanish Baroque and Surrealist influences.
On November 21, 2019, the celebration was for the Ecuadorian Matilde Hidalgo de Procel (1889-1974), doctor, poet, activist and pioneer of women’s rights. Hidalgo de Procel became the first woman to vote in Latin America in 1924 and the first Ecuadorian to earn a doctorate in medicine.
If we talk about architecture, we cannot miss the name of Antonio Rivas Mercado (1853-1927), a Mexican architect, engineer and restorer whose most recognized work is the Monument to Independence in Mexico City.
On August 15, 2015, a year after his death, an animated Google doodle reminded us of what has been one of the most inspiring and appreciated Latin American rock musicians of all time. Gustavo Cerati (1959-2014) was the voice of the emblematic Argentine group Soda Estéreo, which changed the paradigm of Latin rock and conquered the entire American continent and part of Europe.
Mexican Dolores del Río (1904-1983) was the first Latina actress to become a Hollywood star. In addition to being one of the symbols of the Golden Age of Mexican cinema, Del Río inspired painters such as Diego Rivera, Covarrubias and Orozco. This colorful Google doodle celebrated its 113th anniversary on August 3, 2017.
Felicitas Gómez Martínez de Méndez (1916-1998) was a Puerto Rican civil rights activist in the United States. In 1946, after all three of her children were denied enrollment in a local public school because of their ethnicity and skin color, Méndez and her husband Gonzalo led a battle for civil rights in California. The Puerto Rican set a legal precedent against existing segregation in the United States. Google reminded her and her fight with an animated doodle in September 2020.
On July 7, 2018, the honorary doodle was for the pediatrician, educator and activist for women’s rights Helen Rodríguez Trías (1929-2001). The doctor was the first Hispanic president of the American Public Health Association and made great efforts to expand health services for women and children in minority and low-income populations in the United States, Central and South America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
On March 6, 2018, the recognition went to the Colombian writer, journalist and Nobel Prize winner Gabriel García Márquez (1927-2014), on what would have been his 91st birthday. The doodle represents the magical city of Macondo, present in several of the works of the author and that is woven with the memories of his own childhood.
Google did more than just a doodle to honor the great Mexican-American artist Selena Quintanilla (1971-1995) in 2017. The company published an animated video that, according to Google itself, took two years to produce. This 20th century musical icon deserves no less, who became a source of inspiration and hope for Latino, immigrant and bicultural communities around the world.
On October 27, 2018, on the 249th birthday of Venezuelan philosopher, educator, academic, and humanist Simón Rodríguez (1769-1854), Google paid tribute to him. In addition to being a philanthropist, Rodríguez was a mentor to Simón Bolívar, one of the most prominent figures in the Spanish-American emancipation from the Spanish Empire.