FORT RUCKER, Ala. (WDHN) — Sunday kicked off the official commencement of National Hispanic Heritage Month, and to celebrate the occasion, Fort Rucker got an early start on Friday.
“We did folklore dances from Panama, but we wore a formal pollera, and we do have a lot of dances and polleras that we wear, but this one is more like de Gala, which is more like a ballroom style,” performer Elisa Burns said.
Approximately 57.5 million people or 18 percent of the U.S. population are of Hispanic or Latino descent.
Sgt. Ileana Salguero helped organize the Hispanic Heritage Month kickoff event at Fort Rucker, which took more than a month’s worth of planning to execute.
“I couldn’t have done this by myself so I really am thankful for all of the people that helped brainstorm and came up with ideas,” Salguero said. “I feel like it turned out really good. A lot of people have been giving me the thumbs up and telling me that it turned out really good.”
Besides plenty of dancing, those in attendance got to sample a variety of Hispanic inspired foods as well as enjoy several historical displays.
The observation of national Hispanic Heritage Month was enacted into law in August 1988 and is recognized from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 each year.
“It’s important because we promote cross-cultural awareness and celebrate Hispanic Americans’ contributions to our military and our country,” Sgt. 1st Class William Crowley said.
Fort Rucker will hold several other Hispanic Heritage events throughout the month, concluding with a salsa night on Oct. 11.
This story is the first of a series of stories we will be doing to commemorate Hispanic Heritage Month. Read more about Hispanic history in the United States by visiting our custom webpage.