The Varnett Public School capped the celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month with a special lunch attended by hundreds of parents and students Oct. 11.
The guests joined their children in feasting on beef tacos, black beans, lettuce and tomatoes, fruit and milk. Some of the students dressed in Hispanic attire to celebrate the cultural and racial diversity that is prominent throughout the district.
Each year, Americans commemorate National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15 by celebrating the culture, history and contributions of American citizens whose ancestry comes from Mexico, Spain, Central and South America and the Caribbean.
The commemoration first started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Johnson. President Reagan expanded it in 1988 to cover the 30-day period starting September 15, which is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September 18, respectively.
As of July 1, 2012, the Hispanic population of the United States was about 53 million, making people of Hispanic origin the nation’s largest ethnic minority at 17 percent, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Varnett celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month and Cinco de Mayo every year, events that remain popular among the district’s diverse staff, parents and students.
“We appreciate the parents of Varnett participating in these events,” said Adiela Lopez, who hails from Colombia and is the discipline coordinator at Southwest PreK.