Fort Sam celebrates Hispanic Heritage Latin-Style
September 25, 2008
FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas --- The post community celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month with a cultural-music and food-tasting event sponsored by the 470th Military Intelligence Brigade Sept. 17 at the Army Community Service center here.
Hispanic Heritage Month runs from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. This year's theme is "Getting involved: our Families, our Community and our Nation."
"The goal for this month is to increase awareness and knowledge of Hispanic cultures such as the diversity and accomplishments," said Sgt. Lynetta Hall, 618th Dental Company.
September was chosen for Hispanic Heritage Month since Sept. 15 is the anniversary of independence for five Latin countries: El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras and Costa Rica. Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence day Sept. 16 and 18, Hall said.
The cultural celebration included free Latin food from Azuca Nuevo Latino Restaurant, music played by the Army Medical Command Band's Latin Force ensemble, A&R Productions featuring Ronnie and the Latin Explosion, prize drawings and cultural displays.
Exhibits were filled with information and cultural items from Honduras, Dominican Republic, Peru, Costa Rica, Spain, Cuba, Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Chile, Panama and more.
Fifth graders from Fort Sam Houston Elementary School were invited by the Equal Opportunity Office to visit the displays, but were surprised to find a lot more at the celebration.
The Latin Force ensemble played meringue, salsa and pop Latino songs that generated the audience to dance. Sgt. 1st Class Megan Grant, equal opportunity adviser, and Staff Sgt. Danielle Smith, equal opportunity leader, joined the crowd of students dancing.
"The kids are really having fun. We certainly did not expect this. We thought we were coming to see only the displays," said Betsy Menck, reading teacher, Fort Sam Houston Elementary.
After viewing the display, students were quizzed by band member Sgt. 1st Class Jesse Bolanos on what they remembered seeing.
For the finale, Spc. Michael Ford, salsa instructor from the Jimmy Brought Fitness Center here, performed a Latin dance with volunteer dancers.