First a brief history on Hispanic Heritage Month:
Hispanic Heritage Month is the period to recognize the contributions of Hispanic Americans to the United States and to celebrate Hispanic heritage and culture. The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week was approved by President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. It was enacted into Law on August 17, 1988 on the approval of Public Law 100-402.
"September 15 was chosen as the starting point for the celebration because it is the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and
Nicaragua. They all declared independence in 1821. In addition, Mexico, Chile and Belize celebrate their independence days on September 16, September 18 and September 21, respectively. "
This year especially it is important for us to celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month by demonstrating the importance of the contributions and culture we of Hispanic heritage have made. Not only in the arts but also as political and social leaders.
Growing up in Los Angeles (the melting pot many cultures) it is amazing to see just how many background of Hispanic/Latino cultures are intermixed with everyday life. There are so many places in Los Angeles that one visits that reminds us of this. From El Pubelo “Olivera Street” downtown, to the berths in San Pedro… so many flavors of Hispanic/Latino life all around.
Food, oh let’s not forget the many flavors this rich culture has brought to America. Tacos, Burritos, Salsas, Moles, the list goes on and on… Mouth watering foods on our plates that make our taste buds happy day in and day out in the city of Angeles. From the Salvadorian Pupusa to the Argentine Empanada, we are lucky to have such variety of dishes available to us on a daily basis.
Contributions not only from flavorful food, but from the many talents that have come from these colorful countries. Artists such as the Queen of Salsa “Celica Cruz” and Academy Award winning Penelope Cruz, have given our youth the inspiration to go forward with their creative culture and talents. Political figures such as Congressman Xavier Becerra, and Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis– wonderful role models for a new generation of Hispanic/Latino leaders… our future. Yes Hispanic Heritage Month is a great time to celebrate! A celebration not only of culture and tradition, but the many contributions of Hispanic/Latino Americans.
Sí Se Puede! Yes we can!