Each year, mid-way through the month of September, our country acknowledges Hispanic and Latin Americans who have positively influenced and contributed to our nation and society. The national acknowledgement of Hispanic and Latin heritage was originally a week-long celebration approved by President Lyndon Johnson in 1968. In 1988, President Ronald Reagan stretched the celebration into a 30-day annual commemorative event. National Hispanic Heritage Month begins on September 15th, in honor of the day Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua gained their independence in 1821.
This year, I am honored to be apart Salisbury Hispanic Coalition. For the past ten years, the coalition has celebrated the Hispanic Latino culture through the event La Fiesta de Rowan. The activities we have planned connects the community at large by bringing awareness to such a rich culture. The event will be on Saturday, September, 28th from 1pm to 7pm at 100 block of East Fisher Street, Downtown Salisbury, NC. It will be a day full of fun, music, food, and dance!
I encourage you to participate in local events hosted by your city during Hispanic Heritage Month. Take advantage of opportunities to learn more about the Hispanic Latino culture. For example, do you know the difference between Hispanic and Latino? Both are words that refer to areas of origin, not race. Hispanic is used to refer to individuals from Spain and Spanish colonies in South and Central America. Latino, on the other hand, refers to people from Latin America.
This month, also visit Presente.org website at www.presente.org. Presente.org is a national organization that provides a platform for the Hispanic Latino community to stand up and speak out. On their website you will find a list of their campaigns that highlights issues the community face. You’ll also find ways you can personally take action as a community ally.
For additional information about Hispanic Heritage Month, visit hispanicheritagemonth.gov/about.