Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Latino Heritage Month, hecho en Pasadena

I think the most frequent question I'm asked about Latino Heritage Month is...when is it?  The answer varies depending who is answering.

Technically the Month begins on September 15th, although like Memorial Day and Veteran's Day, commemorative gatherings may take place on other days.  Last week the celebratory parade took place in East Los Angeles.

Locally the celebrations will begin in all seriousness with the Fiestas Patrias at Villa Parke.  There'll be the recognition of 18 different Latin American countries.

A pause for a bit of history here.

The mid-eighteenth century was a time of revolution.  We learn about the revolutions in Europe but there was a lot of activity taking place in the Americas. In fact, several countries in Latin American fought and then with their independence from Spain.

In 1810 On September 16 in Dolores, Guanajuato. Fr. Miguel Hidalgo gave what is known as El Grito - The Cry (for Independence).  His speech and his passion seem to have been at the tipping point of Mexican Indepence.  I've read articles that credit him with his having been joined by about 50,000 folks, most from those living in poverty.  

In addition to Mexico the countries of Belize, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua celebrate their independence on or around the 15th.

Much more than a century later Hispanic Heritage Week was established during Lyndon Johnson's presidency.  In 1988 it was expanded to a month, from Setpember 15th to October 15th by then Preident Ronald Reagan.

Last night the Pasadena City Council passed a resolution declaring that each year from September 15 through October 15, the City of Pasadena will celebrate Hispanic and Latino Heritage Month.

"Made in Pasadena" tee designed by Muir High School graduate - Christian Cayetano

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