PHOTO COURTESY OF COD OFFICE OF STUDENT LIFE
COD student Keanna Garcia performing with COD’s Ballet Folklorico
BY KELLEY HUSKEY
ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR
The contributions made by Hispanic and Latin Americans to the United States are plentiful. On Fri, Oct. 13, COD and the Office of Student Life will host a Hispanic Heritage celebration at The Pollock Theater from 5-7 p.m. This event is free of charge.
COD Ballet Club, Sabor a Mi Tierra, will perform a folklorico dance. They have been dancing together since 2005, representing COD throughout the valley and beyond at many locations and events, including Dr. Carreon Scholarship Foundation Awards, The Elks Convention and Palm Springs Art Museum, as well as Cinco de Mayo and Dia de las Muertos events.
The COD Salsa Club will also perform salsa dancing.
In attendance will be guest speaker, Yolanda Nava, an Emmy-award winning television journalist, news anchor, talk show host and author of “It’s All in the Frijoles: 100 Famous Latinos Share Real Life Stories, Favorite Folktales, Time-tested Dichos and Inspiring Words of Wisdom.” Nava is a civil rights pioneer and was the first Mexican American woman in the United States to found, own and operate a television station. Nava’s book will be available for purchase.
Hispanic Heritage Month began in 1968 and runs yearly from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. During this time, we recognize the contributions and positive influence, and celebrate the culture and heritage, of American citizens whose ancestry can be traced back to Mexico, Spain, and Central and South America. Five Latin American countries: Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Costa Rica and Nicaragua, as well as Mexico, Belize and Chile, celebrate the anniversaries of their independence.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, while only 17% (55 million) of the American population is comprised of Hispanic citizens, Hispanics make up a majority of citizens in the state of California (38.9% of the population being Hispanic, 37% White, 24% other). Hispanics make up the majority of citizens in Riverside County as well (47.9% Hispanic, 36.6% white). Nearly 43% of California residents speak a language other than English, with Spanish being the second most spoken language in California.