Many of our friends and neighbors here in far west end Richmond are celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month. The celebration started September 15th. and will end on October 15th. During this time our country and it’s citizens are paying tribute to the generations of Hispanic Americans who have positively influenced and enriched our nation, society and culture.
Hispanic Heritage Month
First started in 1968 under President Lyndon B. Johnson, the celebration lasted for a week. In 1988, President Ronald Reagan changed it to a month long celebration, allowing for a greater chance to showcase the significant contributions that have been made in all aspects of our culture. Coming from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America, our Hispanic citizens and their ancestors have added to the richness and diversity of our society.
America, Henrico and the Hispanic Population
Hispanics form the largest minority group in the United States, having grown 31% between 2000 and 2009. They also account for almost 11% of this country’s buying power. In Henrico County, the Hispanic population has grown from 2% to 4% of the 296,415 people residing here. Our Hispanic neighbors have given us many fine restaurants and other businesses to visit.
But, that is not all they have contributed. We also have the Latin Ballet of Virginia, and the annual Que Pasa Hispanic Cultural Festival, highlighting food, music and dance. And that is just locally. The number of famous Hispanic Americans we could honor would fill several books, and their contributions would be too numerous to count; from Francisco Veraquez de Coronado and his exploration of North America to the first Hispanic woman appointed to the Supreme Court of the United States, Sonia Sotomayor.
Hispanic Heritage Day
This Saturday, October 1, 2011, the Children’s Museum of Richmond will be hosting Hispanic Heritage Day. Admission is free, and the day will be full with a number of activities for children of all ages. The festivities start at 10a.m. and last until 4p.m. For more information, you may call (804)474-7000. Chef Chris will be creating authentic Hispanic treats for the children to enjoy, and you can make your own maracas in the Art studio.
Local author Meg Medina
Richmond’s own local Hispanic celebrity, childrens book author Meg Medina, will be reading her new book, “Tia Isa Wants a New Car” for visitors at 10a.m., 12 noon, and 1:30p.m. Mrs. Medina has been writing for 15 years, using a multi-cultural approach to her story telling. She and her family have lived in Richmond for the last 12 years, and she has raised her three daughters here. Medina is very active in the community and with the local schools. Be sure to mark this event on the calendar.