Children at the Youth Center create miniature floats at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., Sept.17, 2012. Each float will represent a Hispanic country and grace the tables at a banquet held to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Ericka Engblom)
Children at the Youth Center concentrate while building miniature floats at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., Sept.17, 2012. Each float will represent a Hispanic country and grace the tables at a banquet held to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Ericka Engblom)
A miniature float is ready for display at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., Sept.17, 2012. Each float will represent a Hispanic country and grace the tables at a banquet held to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Ericka Engblom)
by Desiree Ann Montenegro
27th Special Operation Wing Public Affairs
9/21/2012 - CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- Hispanic Heritage Month was officially kicked off Sept. 19 at CANNON Air Force Base, N.M. with the signing of a proclamation by Col. Buck Elton, 27th Special Operations Wing commander. Attendees of the event were treated to French-influenced Mexican sweetbread called "pan dulce", as well as traditional Hispanic beverages.
In the last 24 years, Sept.15 through Oct.15 has been recognized as National Hispanic Heritage Month, also referred to as "Día de la Raza". This cultural event has been observed to commemorate Independence Day for Latin American countries.
"Throughout American history, Hispanic Americans have always come together in service to our nation and our Air Force," said Hispanic Heritage Month committee lead Tech. Sgt. Henry Serrano, 27th Special Operations Civil Engineer Squadron. "It is therefore fitting, that for this year's national Hispanic Heritage Month, we celebrate the theme of Diversity United, Building America's Future Today. Hispanic Airmen have shown their true American spirit and commitment to our Air Force and our nation. This spirit is alive and well in our Airmen serving in harm's way today for our freedom."
Two events that marked the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month at Cannon, included a miniature floats arts and crafts project at the youth center Sept. 17, and the kickoff during wing standup Sept. 19. During September and October several additional activities are scheduled to showcase the many colorful and unique characteristics of Cannon's diverse population.
At the arts and crafts miniature float decorating festivity children were given artistic freedom in decorative aspects of their floats, ranging from red natural clay to colorfully embellished scrapbook paper.
"The kids have a vision of what they want their floats to looks like and I am here to make their vision a reality," said Luquisha Ball, 27th Special Operations Force Support Squadron child program assistant.
The completed floats projects are scheduled to be displayed as centerpieces during the Luncheon at the Landing, Oct. 4.
This year's cultural activities pay much consideration to a variety of audiences including, but not limited to, ages, interests and skills; from traditional and modern arts and crafts to Caribbean-influenced salsa lessons, as well as a Latin dance night.
The wing will hold several other events in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month:
Folk Tale Reading at the child development center on Sept. 21
Latino dance night at the Drop Zone on Sept. 21
Misma Luna/Under the Same Moon at the base theater on Sept. 26
Folk Tale Reading at the La Casita Elementary School on Sept. 28
Luncheon at the Landing on Oct. 4
FREE Hispanic cooking classes at the chapel on Oct. 10
For more information regarding Hispanic Heritage Month and its events please contact Tech. Sgt. Serrano at (575) 784-1131.