Every time anybody mentions the contributions of Latinos to the world, they always go to our music, the food and maybe sports, mainly soccer. But very few people really know that many of our superstars, in different fields, have changed the way we all live. Without them we would not have the contraceptive pill, the mop, blood transfusions and even a life-changing heart procedure known as the bypass. All of these inventions and many more came from brilliant Latino minds--and even bigger hearts. And we bring them all to you to celebrate the first day of Hispanic Heritage Month today.

Read more ¿Qué más?: Latino babies are taking over the world!

I say hearts because most of them did not become rich and famous after putting out their contribution to the world. Some of them even failed to register their creations appropriately and did not get the recognition they deserved. However, we wanted to celebrate them and the way they have made us proud, by making our lives a lot easier and millions of people healthier.

Happy Hispanic Heritage Month!

Imagen vía Thinkstock








Luis Agote 1

Luis Agote

Imagen vía WikiCommons

This Argentinian physician and researcher was one of the first to perform a non-direct blood transfusion using sodium citrate as an anticoagulant. The procedure took place in Rawson hospital in the city of Buenos Aires on November 9, 1914.


Manuel Jalón 2

Manuel Jalón

Image vía Fregona.com

This amazing Spanish engineer invented and copyrighted the mop. None of us can even imagine a world were women spent a good part of their days washing the floor on their knees, but it was exactly what happened before the 50s, when "la fregona" was created.


Carlos Finlay 3

Carlos Finlay

Imagen vía WikiCommons


In 1881, this Cuban genius discovered that a mosquito was the carrier for one of the worst illness of his time: yellow fever. His contribution changed the way scientists attack different viral maladies, including the very current dengue fever that has finally arrived in the U.S. via South Florida.

Luis Alberto Miramontes 4

Luis Alberto Miramontes

Image vía Unam

In 1964, the contraceptive pill was chosen by the U.S. Department of Patents as one of the 40 registered more important inventions between 1794 and 1964. The name of Mexican chemist Luis Miramontes appeared next to Pasteur, Edison, Bell, the Wright brothers and others of equal stature. It was included in the U.S.'s Inventors Hall of Fame. He was part of the team that invented the main components of the pill.


Fernando Rodríguez Vargas 5

Fernando Rodríguez Vargas

Image via US Army

This amazing Puerto Rican dentist became educator and investigator of the bacteriological aspects of dental diseases while in the U.S. Army. His research led him to discover the bacteria which causes dental cavities. His discovery is now the base to all preventive methods, from toothpaste to floouride treatments.


Lászlo Bíró 6

Lászlo Bíró

Hungarian born, naturalized Argentinian László Bíró invented the pen, as we know it, and even sold the invention to the British Army.


Lydia Villa-Komaroff 7

Lydia Villa-Komaroff

Image vía US Government

This Mexican American biochemist invented the way to make artificial insulin, which is used today by the millions of diabetics of the world.

Mario Molina 8

Mario Molina

Image vía Wikimedia Commons

Do you remember when all the products that had the components CFCs started to dissapear (from aerosol deodorant, from air conditioning units)? It was thanks to this Mexican chemist--the first to receive a Nobel Prize in Chemistry, who discovered that the CFCs were destroying the ozone layer.


Ellen Ochoa 9

Ellen Ochoa

Image vía Nasa

The face recognition system that allowed the capture of the Boston bomber, among many other criminals, was developed thanks to an invention of this Mexican American scientist, who was also the first Latina astronaut to go to space.

René Favaloro 10

René Favaloro

Image vía The Favaloro Foundation

This Argentinan doctor invented the cardiac bypass surgery, that allows doctors to redirect the blood flow "bypassing" a damaged section of an artery. This is nowadays one of the most common lifesaving procedures for heart patients.