National Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated from September 15 to October 15 in the United States. During this month we honor the histories, cultures and contributions of Americans whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Spanish Caribbean and Central and South America.
September 15 marks the anniversary of independence for five Latin American countries (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua) who declared their independence on this date in 1821. In addition, Mexico, Chile, and Belize also celebrate their independence during September. The observation of Hispanic Heritage Month began as a Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson in 1968. President Ronald Reagan expanded the observation in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15; it was enacted into law on August 17, 1988.
NVCC President Daisy Cocco De Filippis, Ph.D., the students, faculty and staff of the College organized a roster of events to mark the observation of Hispanic Heritage Month, beginning with Confluencia on Tuesday, September 24th.
Begun in the fall of 2008, Confluencia has become a welcoming and friendly stop for writers from out of state and abroad. For over ten years, Confluencia has become a tradition at NVCC. According to President De Filippis, “the center stage where many voices that have brought insight, a sense of beauty and social responsibility to the world around. That is where the power of poetry lies, in its potential to help us transcend narrowly personal needs and underscore our capacity to embrace our shared humanity. These voices have contributed to a fine-tuning of our capacity for discernment and, hopefully, for action too.”
Confluencia, moderated by Professor Steve Parlato, featured the work of authors, Luisa Caycedo-Kimura and Vincent Toro, two visiting poets, both also community college professors. NVCC students enthusistically embraced the opportunity to share their poems with a full house in the Playbox Theater on the Waterbury campus. More than a dozen students took advantage of the open mic portion of the program to read poems in multiple languages and speak powerfully about the challenges to the Latino communities in the U.S. and the value of their contributions. The student participants in the open mic portion chose powerful and very diverse selection of poems to read, at times in two languages including Urdu, Farsi, Arabic, Albanian and Japanese. Some of their readings were from their own creations. NVCC President Daisy Cocco De Filippis, Ph.D. noted, "The opening of the 12th year of Confluencia was a true coming of the mind and heart by means of the word. It was never more real than this event."
A robust series of additional events were hosted throughout the month in observance of Hispanic heritage:
Domino Tournament – Singles
Thursday, September 26, 12:30 pm-2:00 pm, in the Prism Lounge.
Charlation – Speaking Spanglish- Panel Discussion with Hosts of Presencia, Television Program on WGBY, Springfield.
Monday, September 30, 11:00-12:30 pm in L501.
Cooking class: Make Enchiladas, Salsa, Guacamole, and Restaurant Style Tortilla Chips
Instructor: Alejandra Hassenplug, Personal Chef and Graduate of NVCC Food Service Program
Tuesday, October 1, 5:00 pm-6:30 pm in Tech Hall Dining Room/Kitchen.
Taste of Latin American Food & Music
Thursday, October 10, 11:30 am-1:00 pm in Café West.