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NEWS | Sept. 17, 2010

Hispanic Heritage Month underway

By Mike Joseph 502nd Air Base Wing OL-A Public Affairs

Hispanic Heritage Month kicked off Sept. 10 with a carnival at the youth center and continues Monday with a food tasting at Arnold Hall Community Center.

Activities on base continue through Oct. 14 and are sponsored by the Lackland Hispanic Heritage Committee.

The popular food tasting runs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. In addition to food samples from a variety of Hispanic countries, artists from the Hispanic Heritage Society will perform folklore songs and dances from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and South America.

"We hope to share with Lackland a taste of Hispanic cultures through food and entertainment," said Tech. Sgt. Tasha Diaz, 837th Training Squadron.

Sergeant Diaz, Capt. Erin Nelson and Tech. Sgt. Albert Acuna, also from the 837th TRS, are the project officers for Hispanic Heritage Month at Lackland.

"Diversity is what makes America great," Sergeant Acuna said. "By celebrating our Hispanic heritage through activities on base, it provides us the opportunity to display our pride in sharing our Hispanic cultures."

New on the schedule this year are a Joint Base San Antonio Hispanic Heritage luncheon at Randolph Air Force Base on Oct. 7 and an interfaith service at Freedom Chapel on Oct. 14, which wraps up the month at Lackland.

Other events include Hispanic-themed meals for lunch at all Lackland dining facilities on Sept. 29, guest speakers for five days at Lackland Elementary School and three days of story reading at all base Child Development Centers.

Through the Inter-American Air Forces Academy, guest speakers from partner nations will visit the elementary school from Sept. 20-24. Committee members will spend time reading to CDC classes from Sept. 28-30.

"The elementary school students will have a chance to interact with Latin American military leaders and learn about the culture, customs and traditions from various countries," Captain Nelson said. "And the children at the CDCs will hear stories that celebrate Hispanic culture."

Admission to all Lackland Hispanic Heritage Month activities is free and open to the base populous.