National Hispanic Heritage Month

  • Published
  • By Courtesy Dr. Annette Mandley
  • 439th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated annually from September 15th to October 15th. Each year, Americans observe this month by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. The term Hispanic originates from the Latin word Hispania. It was first used by ancient Romans to describe the region of Spain which they conquered in the second century B.C. 

Hispanics have had a profound and positive influence on our country through their strong commitment to family, faith, hard work and service. They have enhanced and shaped our national character with centuries-old traditions that reflect the multi-ethnic and multi-cultural customs of their community. We also recognize the important presence of Hispanic and Latino Americans to the United States, and the immeasurable contributions they have made in defending our country and building a more inclusive nation. 

The observance of Hispanic Heritage Month began in 1968, under President Lyndon Johnson as Hispanic Heritage Week, and was expanded by President Ronald Regan in 1988 to cover a 31 day period. This period covers the anniversary of the independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, beginning on September 15th.  Mexico, Chile and Belize also celebrate their independence days during this time and Columbus Day (Día de la Raza) is celebrated on October 12th.

The theme for 2019 is, “Honoring Hispanic Americans: Essential to the Blueprint of Our Nation.”   

On Westover ARB, events planned by Communications Squadron Hispanic Heritage Month Committee, in collaboration with the Westover Club will include the following:

Friday Oct. 4 – Free dance lessons in Salsa, Merengue, or Bachata, at the club —beginning at 7 p.m.  At 8 p.m., DJ Spotify will play the latest sounds, where you may continue your new dance moves or participate in a Dominos Tournament for bragging rights. Food and drink specials will be available throughout the night.

Sunday Oct. 6 – The final Hispanic Heritage Month Program, with a performance by Bomba de Aqui dance group, and a food sampling luncheon, will be held at 11:30 a.m. in the Army Hall, Armed Forces Reserve Center bldg.

To help ensure a successful month of celebration, your participation is welcome. For additional information, please contact Dr. Annette Peartree-Mandley at 413-557-7139 or email: