Gaithersburg Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month
Per the City of Gaithersburg:
The City invites you to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with educational & cultural presentations that include a Día de los Muertos Altar exhibit, a school supply collection, a Tasty Book reading, an art exhibition, an official proclamation, & more. Residents are encouraged to learn about & celebrate Hispanic culture & participate in local events & programs taking place throughout the month, many coordinated by the City’s Multicultural Affairs Committee (MAC).
An official proclamation designating September 15 through October 15, 2021 as “National Hispanic Heritage Month” in the City will be presented at the September 20 Mayor & City Council meeting. The proclamation will be received by Identity, Inc. Program Director Carolyn Camacho & Identity Youth Ambassadors. The Ambassadors have been doing critical work during the pandemic, connecting with residents where they live to encourage vaccinations & provide information about food, health, housing, & other social service resources. The meeting is viewable via Zoom (register here) or can be watched live on Facebook & Twitter and on the City’s Cable TV channels.
Three activities are taking place at the Activity Center at Bohrer Park. The “Hispanic Heritage Celebration” art exhibit will be on display September 17 through November 21. A reception to meet the artists will be held on Thursday, September 23 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Visitors are also invited to enjoy the Altar del Día de los Muertos, on display October 24 through November 3. Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a traditional Mexican holiday that celebrates friends and family who have passed. The display is presented by the Multicultural Affairs Committee in partnership with the De Colores Mexican Folk Dance Company. While visiting the display, we encourage you to donate school supplies for local school children. A bin will be in the Activity Center lobby while the display is up. Click here for a list of most needed supplies. The school supply drive is being coordinated by the MAC in partnership with the City’s Educational Enrichment Committee.
The Activity Center, located at 506 S. Frederick Avenue, is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Masks are required indoors for all visitors over the age of two regardless of vaccination status. Social distancing is also required indoors. Note that early voting and Election Day voting for the City municipal election will be taking place at the Activity Center on October 23 & 24 and November 2. Please anticipate crowds.
Two other events are taking place at Casey Community Center, located at 810 S. Frederick Avenue. Preschoolers are invited to an in-person Tasty Books reading of “Chato’s Kitchen” by Gary Soto on Saturday, September 18 from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. A take-home kit includes the book, a craft, a themed recipe, and a cooking accessory. Chato is a cool cat from L.A. who just lucked out when a family of plump mice moved into his neighborhood. Along with his best friend, Novio Boy, Chato decides to create a great feast of tortillas & beans to welcome his new neighbors, who Chato hopes will become his main dish. Things take a turn when the mice bring their own special friend to dinner. This book is a winner of the Pura Belpré Award, which recognizes Latinx authors & illustrators whose work best portrays the Latino cultural experience in a work of literature for children or youth. Register online here. Masks are required & social distancing will be enforced.
Virtual educational & cultural presentations prepared by MAC will also be posted on the Special Events Facebook Page @GaithersburgEventsthroughout the month.
The roots of Hispanic heritage in North America span more than 500 years, & individuals sharing this heritage have made vast contributions to the strength, prosperity & culture of our nation. The observance celebrates the culture & traditions of U.S. residents who trace their cultural heritage to Spain, Mexico, & the Spanish-speaking nations of Central & South America & the Caribbean. The Hispanic American community is the largest ethnic minority in the United States, with the 2020 Census indicating that approximately 28.5 percent of the City’s population identify themselves as Hispanic or Latino, up from 24.2 percent in 2010.
For more information, please contact Gaithersburg’s Multicultural Affairs Committee.