News>National Hispanic Heritage Month: Strength through diversity
ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England - Airman 1st Class Belen Rico, 48th Civil Engineer Squadron engineer apprentice, reads stories related to Hispanic Heritage Month to children at the Lakenheath Elementary School Sept. 28, 2012. The reading was the second of six events beginning Sept. 15 and running through Oct. 15 in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. The observance will culminate with a Hispanic Heritage Month Luncheon at Eagles Landing at 11:30 a.m. on Oct. 15, 2012. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Connor Estes)
ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England - Senior Airman Arthur Decou, 48th Medical Operations Squadron administrative assistant, reads stories related to Hispanic Heritage Month to children at the Lakenheath Elementary School Sept. 28, 2012. The reading was the second of six events beginning Sept. 15 and running through Oct. 15 in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. The observance will culminate with a Hispanic Heritage Month Luncheon at Eagles??? Landing at 11:30 a.m. on Oct. 15, 2012. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Connor Estes)
by Senior Airman Connor Estes
48th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
10/3/2012 - ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England -- The Liberty Wing is celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month, which began Sept. 15 and will be observed until Oct. 15.
NHHM recognizes Hispanic history and culture.
"It's good to see when you get a lot of people of all ranks together working for the common goal, which is to educate the people around us on the contributions made by Hispanics," said Master Sgt. Robert Chabarria, 48th Comptroller Squadron financial analysis flight chief and NHHM committee chairperson.
This year's theme is "Diversity United, Building America's Future Today." The theme refers to the vital role Hispanics played in history and how their diversity shaped the U.S.
According to a U.S. Census Bureau data from 2010, Hispanics comprise 16.3 percent of the total U.S. population, or 50.5 million people, forming the county's largest ethnic minority. Additionally, it is projected that by 2050, a quarter of the nation's workforce will be Hispanic.
"What we want to show people is that there's a variety of people, and we come from different backgrounds even though we fall under one umbrella as Americans," said Airman 1st Class Hadassah Dorce, 48th Mission Support Group knowledge information manager and NHHM Committee member. "People sometimes think Hispanics have one general look, so we want to dispel those stereotypes and educate them there's diversity even within Hispanics.
Some people may wonder why the observance of NHHM starts on Sept. 15 instead of the beginning of the month.
According to the NHHM website, Sept. 15 was chosen as the start date because it is the independence day for five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Mexico celebrates their independence on Sept. 16, while Chile and Belize celebrate on Sept. 18 and Sept. 21, respectively.
According to Chabarria, NHHM isn't just a celebration of Hispanic culture, it's a celebration of one of the core characteristics of the U.S.
"I think it's important to show the younger Airmen to not only get involved with Hispanic Heritage Month, but other observances as well," he said. "Diversity is what makes us who we are as Americans, and we're a country full of it."
Below are planned events during the observance:
Oct. 5 - 5K run at the RAF Lakenheath track starting 10 a.m.
Oct. 6 - Latin night, 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., at the Liberty Club
Oct. 12 - Children's book reading at RAF Feltwell Elementary School
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