Hispanic Heritage Month observed at Pearl Harbor Memorial Chapel

MA 1 Zahul Puelo and his wife Cinthia entertain the crowd with a traditional dance from the Dominican Republic.

Story and photos by Brandon Bosworth
Contributing Writer

A ceremony marking the beginning of National Hispanic Heritage Month took place Sept. 21 at Pearl Harbor Memorial Chapel at Pearl Harbor-Hickam. The theme for this year is “Diversity United, Building America’s Future Today.”

Capt. Robert A. Espinosa, former chief of staff, Navy Region Hawaii, served as keynote speaker. Espinosa’s father is a first generation immigrant from Cuba, and his mother is Puerto Rican.

“My path was simple compared to that of my parents,”
Espinosa said. “They left everything behind and came to this country with just the shirts on their backs. Those who came before us came not for a handout but for an opportunity.”

The ceremony concluded with refreshments consisting of traditional Hispanic food and beverages. Master-at-Arms First Class Zahul Puelo, Joint Base Security Harbor Division, and his wife, Cinthia, entertained the crowd with a traditional dance from the Dominican Republic called a Bachata.

National Hispanic Heritage Month runs from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, and celebrates the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and expanded under President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period.

Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam will continue to honor National Hispanic Heritage Month with a Sept. 30 celebration from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Ward Field. This event will include Salsa dancing from instructor, performer and choreographer Jerome Ramos, who is offering a free dance class. Che Pasta’s DJ Jose will be spinning Salsa, Merengue, Bachata and more. Local Latin vendors are providing food.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • email
  • RSS

Category: News