Hispanic Heritage MonthKicking off Hispanic Heritage Month, County Executive Robert P. Astorino today announced a host of activities taking place throughout Westchester between Sept. 17 and Oct. 16.

"Hispanic Heritage Month is an opportunity to learn about a wide variety of topics," said Astorino. "From the culture and accomplishments of our residents of Spanish heritage, to bilingual programs and services, there is a lot going on that people can benefit from and enjoy."

Events scheduled:

  • Sept. 17, 10 a.m. - Westchester Independent Living Center (WILC) will host an event on health and civic engagement in the Hispanic community. Location: 200 Hamilton Avenue, 2nd floor, White Plains. For more information and to register, contact Tamaris Princi at (914) 682-3926 x2114 or e-mail .
  • Sept. 18, 7 p.m. - El Centro Hispano, Inc. will celebrate the graduation of their computer class. For more information, call (914) 289-0500.
  • Sept. 20, 8:30 a.m. to noon - Gateway to Entrepreneurship at Westchester Community College to host "Coaching Clinic" for immigrant entrepreneurs in need of advice from a lawyer, credit counselor or strategy consultant. All those interested should register for a 30-minute counseling session. To sign up, contact .
  • Sept. 21, 12 p.m. –2014 White Plains Hispanic Day Festival at Eastview Middle School. For more information, e-mail .
  • Sept. 24, 6 - 8 p.m. - Westchester Hispanic Business Chamber to host a Hispanic Heritage Month mixer. Location: Rancho Grande, 1789 Central Park Avenue, Yonkers. For more information, visit www.whccny.com.
  • Sept. 28, 1:30 p.m. - Westchester County in partnership with El Centro Hispano to host "Conectando con La Comunidad Hispana." The event will give residents an opportunity to learn more about the function of county government and the services it offers. Location: El Centro Hispano Inc., 346 South Lexington Avenue, White Plains.
  • Sept. 28, at City of Yonkers - Yonkers Puerto Rican Day parade. For more information, contact .
  • Oct. 2, 8:30-10:30 a.m. - Gateway to Entrepreneurship at Westchester Community College to host financial literacy programs. For more information, contact .
  • Oct. 8, 11:30 a.m. – Neighbors Link to host Latin Links 2014 Luncheon: "Women, the Immigrant Experience and the Media." Guest speakers include: Alicia Menendez, anchor, "Alicia Menendez Tonight" and Barbara Fedida, senior vice president for talent and business, ABC news. Location: Old Oaks Country Club, 3100 Purchase Street, Purchase. For more information, visit http://neighborslink.org/events/.
  • Oct. 8, 6 p.m. –Westchester County Hispanic Advisory Board and Westchester County Human Rights Commission to host author presentation titled "Converging Conversations in Culture." Julia Maria Schiavone Camacho, author of "Chinese-Mexicans: Transpacific Migration and the Search for a Homeland" will discuss her book. Location: Sarah Lawrence College, 1 Mead Way, Bronxville. For more information, contact .
  • Oct. 16, 6-9 p.m. - 100 Hispanic Women of Westchester and College of New Rochelle to host "An Evening of Literature by Latinas." Featured speakers include: Suzan Colon, author of "Cherries in Winter" and Maria Venegas, author of "Bulletproof Vest." Location: College of New Rochelle, Maura Ballroom, 29 Castle Place, New Rochelle. For more information, visit www.100HWW.org or e-mail Zoe Colon at . All proceeds will benefit the organization's scholarship fund for young Latinas pursuing their education.

History of Hispanic Heritage Month:

  • Hispanic Heritage begins on Sept. 15 because it marks the anniversary of independence for five Latin American countries including: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.
  • The tradition of celebrating Hispanic heritage began in 1968 but Hispanic Heritage Month was legally enacted into law on Aug. 17, 1988 by President Reagan.
  • During Hispanic Heritage month, contributions made by the Hispanic-American community are acknowledged and celebrated. It is also a time to celebrate the unique customs, cultures and histories of the Hispanic-American community.
  • Hispanic-Americans are the largest ethnic minority in the United States.