Base ready to celebrate Hispanic heritage, culture

Janet Taylor Birkey

Cannon’s Cultural Observance Committee is ready for the annual Hispanic Heritage month, running today through October 15.
“Right now we have 200,000 Hispanics serving in the military,” said Tech. Sgt. Marisol Lozada, 27th Medical Operations Squadron.
She said that although being from another country can have its drawbacks, it can also be beneficial because the military offers opportunities such as education, travel and the chance to and learn about other cultures.
Several activities are planned for the Cannon community to educate them about the Hispanic culture, as well as the contributions the Hispanic heritage has made to America as a whole, said Sergeant Lozada.
One of these events is the annual Hispanic Heritage Luncheon at the The Landing.
The Cultural Observance Committee encourages non-Hispanics to attend the luncheon on Oct. 6. “That’s mainly who it’s for. We want to educate people about our heritage,” said Sergeant Lozada.
In this experience, non-Hispanics will learn about the differences in dress styles, speech and food among Hispanic cultures.
“I think the biggest misconception is that Hispanic heritage gets labeled Mexican heritage,” said Sergeant Lozada, adding that countries such as Guatemala and Cuba also have an Hispanic heritage.
“It’s [also] a misconception that because it’s Hispanic Heritage Month, it’s only Hispanics who should celebrate. No. It’s to get involved, to educate others and for us to celebrate our diversity,” said Staff Sgt. Tanya Wyatt, 27th Military Equal Opportunity flight.
“It’s really because we don’t know a lot about somebody who is different from us,” said Tech. Sgt. Dawn Hendricks, 27th MEO. “A lot of people have the attitude, what do I need to learn about somebody else for? Because you work right next to them and maybe there’s a question you have about their culture: ‘Why do you wear your hair like that? Why do you dress like that on Sunday?’ Getting involved in the events will help educate you.”
The Cultural Observance Committee encourages Airmen to let them know what events they would like to see on base to observe cultural awareness months.
To donate items for cultural displays, contact Sergeant Lozada at 784-1108. Items will be returned.