Hispanic Heritage Month runs Sept. 15 through Oct. 15 Published Sept. 15, 2022 By Mark Wyatt 66th Air Base Group Public Affairs HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – Base officials will observe Hispanic Heritage Month Sept. 15 through Oct. 15. This year’s theme is “Unidos: Inclusivity for a Stronger Nation.” Col. Taona Enriquez, installation commander, signed a proclamation outside her office Sept. 14 to mark the month-long observance. Members of the Hispanic Heritage Month committee and Command Chief Master Sgt. Alan Weary attended. “Hispanic Americans represent the best of our Air Force values, including commitment to faith, family and country,” said Senior Airman Maria Fox, Hispanic Heritage Month Committee chair. “Hispanic-Americans have served more than 200 years in the military, protecting the United States’ interests around the world.” Committee members will feature Hispanic culture during a free Hispanic food tasting event Sept. 30 beginning at noon at the Chapel Annex. The event is open to all those with base access. “Hispanic-American men and women embody the American values of devotion to duty, hard work, and patriotism through their countless contributions as leaders, innovators, entrepreneurs, and members of our Air Force,” said Enriquez, in a recorded message to the workforce. The Air Force Materiel Command will host a Cross-Cultural Mentoring Panel in conjunction with Hispanic Heritage Month, Sept. 28 at 2 p.m. The virtual event, hosted on ZoomGov, is open to all uniformed and civilian Airmen. The monthly celebration begins Sept. 15 because five Latin American countries, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, declared their independence from Spanish colonization on that day in 1821. Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days Sept. 16 and Sept. 18, respectively. The observance began in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson. In 1988, President Ronald Reagan expanded it to a 30-day observance. “Hispanic Heritage Month is an important reminder of how much strength we draw from our immigrant roots and our values as a nation of immigrants,” said Weary.