30 days of Latin American pride

Latin Americans have much to celebrate in a month long celebration from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. With countries stretching from the southern most tip of the Andes Mountains in Chile, to the ancient Mayan ruins in Central America and to the islands in the Caribbean, the nation will be celebrating its Hispanic heritage in observance of National Hispanic Heritage Month.

Students on the Sam Houston State University campus got a head start Wednesday, with Program Council’s Hispanic Heritage Kick-Off Rally, and the Hispanic student and faculty mixer. Other events planned for SHSU campus every week for the rest of National Hispanic Heritage Month.

“Hispanic Heritage month is important for students because learning about other cultures is always important and to learn about the contributions that Hispanic Americans play in society today,” said Program Council’s Hispanic Heritage Month Chair, Ebony Debrow.

SHSU campus events range every week from presentations, speeches, food exhibitions and learning about the Caribbean Island of Puerto Rico between now and mid October.

During the last week of Hispanic Heritage month, Program Council is going to host guest speaker Jose Gutierrez, who founded the Mexican American Studies (CMAS) at the University of Texas at Arlington.

“Last week we are going to end with a speech from Doctor Gutierrez,” said Debrow. “He was a big part of the civil rights movement for Hispanic Americans and with what’s going on right now and all the issues that have just been coming to surface about Hispanic Americans. He is going to address those, and I encourage students to go to that program.”

Hispanic Heritage has been celebrated nationally since 1968 when it was recognized as National Hispanic Heritage Week. It was not until 1988 that the week was extend to a 30-day period, to celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month.

Sept. 15 marks the Independence Day anniversaries of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Their independence was the reason for beginning the celebration on this day. Mexico and Chile both celebrate their Independence a few days later on Sept. 16 and Sept. 18.

For more information on upcoming events visit, http://www.shsu.edu/~org_pc or call the Program Council office at (936) 294-1763.

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