Posts Tagged: Hispanic Heritage Month
Hispanic Heritage Month begins on September 15 and continues until October 15. The purpose of the celebration is to recognize the contributions and vital presence of Hispanics and Latin Americans in the United States.
President Lyndon Johnson first approved Hispanic Heritage Week in 1968 and expanded to a full month by President Ronald Reagan in 1988. Finally, Hispanic Heritage Month was officially enacted as a law on August 17, 1988.
Why is Hispanic Heritage Month held from mid-September to mid-October? It was chosen in this way to reserve two significant dates for Spanish-speaking countries. On the one hand, Independence Day is celebrated in countries such as Mexico, Chile, and five Central American nations (Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Costa Rica).
Also, Columbus Day or Día de la Raza was commemorated, a date celebrated more by Italian-Americans than Spanish-speaking immigrants.
Hispanics and Latinos in the United States are getting stronger every day; it is undeniable. But they are more recognized for their culinary richness and the attractiveness of their rhythms, such as Mariachi, salsa, cumbia, mambo, and merengue, than for their essential contributions the professional level. Although, at the national level, there are all kinds of professionals who, with their work, have contributed to the cultural, social, and economic wealth of this country.
Hispanics who have helped improve our lives range from an astronaut to a winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics.
Luis Walter Alvarez, born in Mexico and naturalized American, was an experimental physicist, inventor, and professor who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1968.
Franklin Ramón Chang Díaz is a Costa Rican mechanical engineer, naturalized American, physicist, and former NASA astronaut.
Ellen O. Ochoa is an engineer born in Los Angeles, CA, to Mexican parents, who became the first Hispanic woman to travel to space and was a former director of the Johnson Space Center.
Did you know that, according to the Census Bureau, there are 60 million Hispanics in the country? And that more than half live in three states: California, Texas and Florida? Two-thirds of Hispanics in the United States have their origins in Mexico, followed by Puerto Rico (9.5%) San Salvador (3.8%), and Cuba (3.6%). The rest come from the twelve countries where Spanish is the official language.
According to the Census Bureau, college enrollment has increased over the past decade, and 49% of Hispanic high school graduates enrolled in a university. The U.S. Department of Education recognizes six University of California campuses as institutions serving Hispanic students, including UC Irvine, while UC Merced is one of the universities in the country with the highest percentage of Hispanic students.
UC Agriculture and Natural Resources joins the celebration
This year UC ANR the celebration by recognizing three Latino professionals who serve their communities while always upholding UC ANR's public values of academic excellence, honesty, integrity, and community service.
Claudia Diaz - 4-H youth development advisor for Riverside and San Bernardino counties. Claudia has received numerous awards and recognitions for her work with underprivileged youths in urban areas. She has been with UC ANR for five years.
Sonia Ríos - Subtropical horticulture advisor for Riverside and San Diego counties. Since an early age, Sonia knew her future was in agriculture, her grandfather and her father worked in agriculture and taught her the love for nature and the fields. She has been with UC ANR for almost nine years.
Javier Miramontes - Nutrition program supervisor for Fresno County. Javier enjoys the opportunity his work gives him to serve the community where he grew up. He finds it very rewarding to teach parents, senior citizens, and Highschool students about the importance of a healthy diet and how to create a sustainable environment. He has been with UCANR for over five years.
UC Cooperative Extension joins in the commemoration by sharing a sampling of its recent efforts to reach California Hispanics and Latinos. For more information about UCCE outreach to Hispanic and Latino communities in California, see UC ANR News and Information Outreach in Spanish.
CalAgrAbility helps disabled farmers and farmworkers stay in agriculture
Working on a farm is among the most dangerous of professions. “It's more dangerous to work in agriculture than in the police force,” said Esmeralda Mandujano, an educator for the UC CalAgrAbility program, located in Davis. CalAgrAbility is part of a nationwide effort funded by the USDA that supports agricultural workers with chronic disabilities or who have been injured on the job. Some conditions are very common, such as arthritis, deteriorating vision, hearing loss or mobility problems. Other ag folks face other challenges, such as amputations or spinal injuries. "We believe that solutions exist, and we are willing to do all we can to connect people with solutions that will give more control over their lives," Mandujano said. "We don't give out money, but we help them find ways to meet their needs." Bilingual staff members help locate resources, including low-cost modifications to the farm, home, equipment and work site operations. CalAgrAbility also provides technical assistance, education and training. For more information, contact Esmeralda Mandujano at (530) 753-1613, firstname.lastname@example.org.
UCCE helps Hispanic farmers pursue the American Dream
Urban students give fresh ideas for conserving creek
Chollas Creek, which drains to San Diego Bay, is affected by pollution and choked by an infestation of invasive Arundo donax (giant cane). Community groups have removed Arundo, planted native species, and installed walkways, seating, shade structures and art to make the restoration areas attractive for outdoor activities. But the urban area around the creek, which has high population density and a high crime rate, continues to suffer from environmental degradation. To find out what young community members think about Chollas Creek and its surrounding outdoor areas, UC Cooperative Extension met with 35 youths from 5th through 12th grades from the neighborhood, including 31 from Latino cultural groups and four African Americans. Leigh Taylor Johnson, UC Cooperative Extension advisor in San Diego, asked the young people why the creek is important to them and to suggest ways to conserve water, reduce pollution and prevent the Arundo donax from infesting the creek. “I am in the process of analyzing the results,” Taylor Johnson said. “In general, I was very impressed with the insights and creative recommendations provided by the youthful participants.” Groundwork San Diego – Chollas Creek, Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation and Jackie Robinson YMCA partnered in this research. For more information, contactLeigh Taylor Johnson at (858) 822-7802, email@example.com.
Resources available in Spanish for managing pests and applying pesticides safely
Southern California landscapers get pest management training in Spanish
An estimated 12,000 to 15,000 Spanish-speaking landscapers in San Bernardino County lack adequate expertise in integrated pest management (IPM) and safe use of pesticides, in part due to the rarity of training opportunities using the Spanish language. UC Cooperative Extension advisor Janet Hartin wanted to change this, and received a $125,000 competitive grant from the Department of Pesticide Regulation to expand integrated pest management education to Southern California Spanish-speaking landscapers. The project focuses on reducing groundwater and surface water pollution leading to water quality degradation due to overuse and improper use of pesticides and fertilizers. This grant funded educational services to Spanish-speaking landscapers at 13 workshops and hands-on as well as classroom training in 2013. Increasing educational services stressing pest prevention to this large clientele – which has quadrupled over 20 years – can significantly reduce overuse and misuse of pesticides in urban environments and improve the health and safety of the work environment for this important segment of the profession. For more information, contact Janet Hartin, (951) 313-2023, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mexico native to provide culturally sensitive nutrition programs to California Latinos