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Hispanic Heritage Month is in full swing for Team Kirtland

John Olivias, an American engineer and a former NASA astronaut, gives a presentation in the Steve Schiff Auditorium of Sandia National Laboratories on Sept. 25, 2019. Sandia hosted the event where participants sampled Hispanic foods, viewed and judged student artwork and listened to Olivias talk about his contributions, and journey with NASA. This was the first event to highlight Hispanic Heritage observance month on Kirtland. The month pays tribute to the contributions that Hispanics and Latino American culture have made to the fabric of our nation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jessie Perkins)

John Olivias, an American engineer and a former NASA astronaut, gives a presentation in the Steve Schiff Auditorium of Sandia National Laboratories on Sept. 25, 2019. Sandia hosted the event where participants sampled Hispanic foods, viewed and judged student artwork and listened to Olivias talk about his contributions, and journey with NASA. This was the first event to highlight Hispanic Heritage observance month on Kirtland. The month pays tribute to the contributions that Hispanics and Latino American culture have made to the fabric of our nation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jessie Perkins)

John Olivias, an American engineer and a former NASA astronaut, shakes hands with Taunja Osborn, in the Steve Schiff Auditorium of Sandia National Laboratories on Sept. 25, 2019. Sandia hosted the event where participants sampled Hispanic foods, viewed and judged student artwork and listened to Olivias talk about his contributions, and journey with NASA. 
This was the first event to highlight Hispanic Heritage observance month on Kirtland. The month pays tribute to the contributions that Hispanics and Latino American culture have made to our nation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jessie Perkins)

John Olivias, an American engineer and a former NASA astronaut, shakes hands with Taunja Osborn, in the Steve Schiff Auditorium of Sandia National Laboratories on Sept. 25, 2019. Sandia hosted the event where participants sampled Hispanic foods, viewed and judged student artwork and listened to Olivias talk about his contributions, and journey with NASA. This was the first event to highlight Hispanic Heritage observance month on Kirtland. The month pays tribute to the contributions that Hispanics and Latino American culture have made to our nation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jessie Perkins)

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. --

Team Kirtland’s celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month is in full swing.  On Sept. 25, participants sampled various Hispanic foods, viewed and judged student artwork and listened to John Olivias, a Hispanic astronaut, talk about his contributions, and journey with NASA.

 

He encouraged the audience to focus on ‘what makes us similar rather than what makes us different.’ Olivias said, that everyone has a story to tell; spreading the message that diversity is what makes us stronger and the human race can accomplish extraordinary things together.

 

“The purpose of the observance is to pay tribute to the contributions that Hispanics and Latino American culture have made to the fabric of our nation,” said Cindy Dominguez-Trujillo, Special Assistant to the commander on Diversity and Affirmative Employment.  “It is the fastest growing community that contributes to the diverse population of our beautiful country.”

 

Hispanic Heritage Month began on Sept. 15, honoring the anniversary of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua gaining their independence.  The observation was originally celebrated as Hispanic Heritage Week in 1968 but was later extended to the 30-day period.

 

“It’s important to celebrate diversity in the nation and as such, important to celebrate Hispanic Heritage,” said U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Rafael Perez-Rochin, Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center superintendent. “While we are all Americans bound by our love for the same country, we all carry with us our distinct cultural backgrounds that make us who we are, and we cannot forget our heritage.”

 

There will be another event held on Oct. 3 at Hardin Field from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. During this event, there will be cultural performances, keynote speakers, STEM demos, music and food. It is open to all military and civilian base access members.