Itemizer-Observer Report

MONMOUTH – Events celebrating Hispanic heritage are in full swing in Monmouth.

The city has hosted and will host several activities celebrating and honoring the stories, cultures, and contributions of Americans whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America during Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from September 15 to October 15.

As a partner of the Hispanic Community Members’ Heritage Month campaign, the town of Monmouth displays banners in Main Street Park that honor the stories of migrant families and seasonal farm workers in the area.

In collaboration with the Oregon Child Development Coalition (OCDC), community members interviewed five local families involved in local agriculture.

Their stories and photos are shared on five public art exhibitions at sites in Monmouth and Independence, designed to showcase our common history, educate and share information with our community.

Here are the upcoming events for Hispanic Heritage Month:

• Bilingual snacks, crafts and story time from 11 am to noon on October 9 at the Amphitheater in Independence Riverview Park

• The bilingual storytelling walk in Gentle Woods Park

• The WOU Freedom Center (Werner Center, room 220) invites the communities of Monmouth and Independence to a celebration from 6 pm to 8 pm on October 15th. There will be music, a walk in the gallery on campus and hors d’oeuvres. Western Oregon University is on the verge of being designated as an institution serving Hispanics, reached when 25% of the student body is Hispanic. WOU’s goal is to be known as a successful Hispanic institution.

• Continued local conversations on race on the history and untold story of contributions by Hispanic / Latino communities in the United States and Oregon, and on current Hispanic / Latino / Mexican issues in education, care health, criminal justice and continued focus on agricultural workers.

These community events are made possible through collaborations with the towns of Monmouth and Independence, WOU Freedom Center and OCDC.

Organizers ask guests to maintain social distancing and wear masks at these events.

The sighting began in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was extended by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a period of 30 days. It was promulgated on August 17, 1988.

September 15 is important because it is the anniversary of the independence of the Latin American countries of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Additionally, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and 18, respectively. Additionally, Columbus Day or Día de la Raza, which is October 12, falls within this 30 day period.

Learn more about Hispanic Heritage Month at https://www.hispanicheritagemonth.gov/about.

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