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Hispanic Heritage Month kick-off
HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – Col. Lester A. Weilacher, 66th Air Base Group commander, signs a proclamation declaring Sept. 15 through Oct. 15 as Hispanic Heritage Month here as members of the committee look on in the atrium of the Brown Building. Many events are planned throughout the observance such as a food tasting, a lunch and learn film at the theater, youth activities and a luncheon. (U.S. Air Force photo by Mark Herlihy)
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Hispanic Heritage Month kick-off

Posted 9/12/2013   Updated 9/12/2013 Email story   Print story


by Capt. Mirna Cuellar

9/12/2013 - HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass.  -- The period of Sept. 15 through Oct. 15 has been designated to celebrate the heritage and cultural diversity that Hispanic Americans have contributed to the United States. According to the National Council of Hispanic Employment Program Managers, this year's theme is "Hispanics: Serving and Leading our Nation with Pride and Honor."

This observance began in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson. It was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period. The celebration commences on Sept. 15 because five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, declared their independence from Spanish colonization on this day in 1821. Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on Sept. 16 and Sept. 18, respectively.

The projected Hispanic population of the United States on July 1, 2050, will be 132.8 million. According to this projection, Hispanics will constitute 30 percent of the nation's population by that date. Hispanics are more than a quarter of the nation's youngest residents, according to the new population estimates, accounting for 26.3 percent of the population younger than age one. Among other major non-Hispanic groups, the share for whites is 49.6 percent; for blacks, 13.7 percent; and for Asians 4.4 percent.

Hanscom Hispanic Heritage Month events:
Sept. 16, noon to 1 p.m., there will be a free food tasting event at the base chapel annex. There will be food from all over South America and Central America specially prepared by committee members.

Sept. 21, 10 a.m. to noon, a free Zumbathon is scheduled at the Sports and Fitness Center by Queta Beasley, a base instructor, and Petty Officer1st Class Michele Serrano, who is a Boston Sports Center instructor.

Sept. 25, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., a historic clip luncheon is scheduled at the Hanscom Conference Center, Bedford Room. The guest speaker is Cristina Benitez, who will present a video clip on Mexican movement history for discussion.

Sept. 26, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., a Movie Lunch and Learn, "For Greater Glory," will play at the base theater. Bring your own lunch, light refreshments will be provided.

Sept. 26, 5:30 to 9:30 p.m., a Hispanic Heritage Month networking event by MIT Lincoln Lab is scheduled in the Minuteman Commons ballroom.

Oct. 9, 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., a Youth Fiesta, Mexican hat dance, games, candy and other food is scheduled at the Youth Center. In addition, Kids Zumbatomic, a Zumba fitness workout class by Petty Officer1st Class Michele Serrano to follow at 3 p.m.

Oct. 10, noon to 1:00 p.m., Capstone luncheon at the Minutemen Commons. The guest speaker is Maj. Mike Morales, 66th Security Forces Squadron commander. There will also be performances by Rumba Y Timbal Salsa Dance Group and Inca Son Band. The Hispanic Heritage Month committee is also scheduling weekly dance lessons at the Minuteman Commons on Thursdays from 5 to 7 p.m., except Sept 26. In addition, a weekly free Zumba class is scheduled at the Fitness Center Wednesdays from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

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