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Wolf administration kicks off Hispanic Heritage Month at Pa. State Capitol

The theme for this year is Esperanza: A celebration of Hispanic Heritage and Hope. The goal is for people to be resilient and optimistic to envision an ideal future.

Governor’s Advisory Commission on Latino Affairs (GACLA) honored Hispanic Heritage Month with remarks at the Pennsylvania State Capitol.

Hispanic Heritage Month recognizes the achievements and contributions of Hispanic Americans.

Officials from the commission gave remarks about the history and contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans globally and in the Commonwealth.

The theme for this year is Esperanza: A celebration of Hispanic Heritage and Hope. The goal is for people to be resilient and optimistic to envision an ideal future.

The Executive Director of GACLA, Luz Colón, said this year's theme provides a sense of comfort and hope for people during the pandemic.

"They're facing a lot of challenges and people need hope," said Colón. "It really speaks true to our communities.

Pennsylvania is what many individuals in the Latino community call home, according to Rep. Manny Guzman.

"One million Latinos call Pennsylvania home serving as an integral part of our community, of our cultural diversity here in the Commonwealth," said Guzman. "This commonwealth is in debt to many individuals within the Hispanic community for the significant role that they have played in the essential professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic."

Officials also addressed the need to diminish inequities in the Latino community to create a better future for the next generation.

"The work that is needed to address the inequities that persist for Latinos particularly as it relates in my world in educational attainment is something that we must remain committed to year-round," said Noe Ortega, secretary of education.

National Hispanic Heritage Month runs from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. For more information on the month, visit here.

Below are ways to virtually celebrate the month:

Saturday 9/19, Online on Facebook, 5 pm – Celebrating Hispanic Gastronomy
The Latin American Alliance will host a 60-minute step-by-step preparation of a typical Hispanic meal by 3 local Hispanic chefs – Leticia (Mexican) Hibiscus Tea, Natividad (Dominican) Ecuadorean main dish, and Nelian (Puerto Rican and our current Srta. Hispanidad) dessert.

Saturday 9/26, Online on Facebook, 5 pm – Celebrating Hispanic Art & Literature
The Latin American Alliance will host a 60-minute presentation of a local Colombian artist painting a truly Latino work interspersed with the reading of poetry and short stories in Spanish by the student winners of our Spanish Literature Contest organized by Latin American Alliance along with the Latino style recitation of poetry by 2 adult Latin Americans.

Saturday, 10/3, Online on Facebook, 5 pm – Celebrating Folkloric Latino Dances
The Latin American Alliance will host a 60-minute colorful presentation of many different regional and national Latin American folkloric dances by many Srta. Hispanidad participants (a scholarship program of LAA) and other local Latin American dancers.

Saturday, 10/10, Online on Facebook, 7 pm – Celebrating Hispanic Music
The Latin American Alliance will host a 90-minute finale presenting and celebrating the many different regional, folkloric rhythms and musical styles of Latin America by local and regional Hispanic musicians and bands.