Updated 03:31 AM EDT, Wed, Oct 20, 2021

Hispanic Heritage Month 2015: Top 5 Latino Personalities to View as Role Models

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The National Hispanic Heritage Month, which kicked off on Sept. 15 and will end exactly a month later, is an annual celebration that holds high significance for the Latino community. The commemoration recognizes the contributions of Hispanics to the U.S. and their rich heritage and culture.

There are plenty of Hispanics who serve as positive role models on the big screen. These Latinos break down stereotypes and perceptions of their race in Hollywood, whether it's in film, acting, writing, or entrepreneurship.

Listed below are five Latino personalities who are making a positive impact on their respective industries.

Alejandro González Iñarritu

Alejandro González Iñarritu made waves at the 87th Academy Awards when his film "Birdman" won in the Best Picture category. The Mexican filmmaker also bagged the Best Director Award for the movie, Variety reported.

Other notable works from Iñarritu are 2006's "Babel" and "The Revenant," which comes out on Dec. 25, 2015 in the U.S., Huffington Post noted.

Alfonso Cuarón

Alfonso Cuarón is the first Mexican director to win an Oscar for his work on the Sandra Bullock and George Clooney starrer "Gravity," Huffington Post wrote. "Children of Men," "A Little Princess," "Y Tu Mama Tambien," and "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" are some of Cuarón's other noteworthy projects, Indiewire listed.

Isabel Allende

Chilean-American writer Isabel Allende started out as a journalist and TV personality in Chile before penning more than 20 books, including the historical political novel "The House of the Spirits" released in 1982, Huffington Post noted.

Allende, now 73, writes in Spanish even though she has been a resident of California for almost three decades, the news outlet added. She is the founder of the Isabel Allende Foundation, which pays homage to her late daughter, Paula Frias. The charity caters to the education and empowerment of women.

Salma Hayek

Salma Hayek jumpstarted her career in Mexican soap operas before venturing to Hollywood. Since then, the brunette beauty starred in a number of films that cemented her name in the entertainment industry.

The 49-year-old actress currently has two movies out in theaters: Khalil Gibran's "The Prophet" and Tom Vaughan's "Some Kind of Beautiful," The Hollywood Reporter wrote. It was announced recently that she, alongside Alec Baldwin, will headline comedy "Drunk Parents" from director Fred Wolf.

Luis von Ahn

Born and raised in Guatemala, Luis von Ahn has served as a scientist, a professor, and an entrepreneur. He is the co-founder of Duolingo, a free language-learning app and website that has "transformed the way kids can learn new languages," Huffington Post wrote.

In 2006, von Ahn was given the esteemed MacArthur Fellowship, also called "genius" grant, Business Insider reported. That same year, von Ahn launched the identity verification device reCAPTCHA, which differs from its predecessor by challenging users to decode two distorted words.

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