hispanicheritageOct. 21, 2016 - Yesterday, County Executive Robert P. Astorino celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month with the Westchester Hispanic Law Enforcement Association, the Westchester Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the host of “Buen Dia New York” Radio WADO, Ino Gomez. Various Hispanic businesses and organizations throughout Westchester County joined the celebration at the Don Coqui Restaurant in White Plains.

The event drew over 100 people and was emceed by Gomez. Astorino addressed the crowd in Spanish, thanking Don Coqui, TD Bank, Westchester Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Berkeley College, Citi Medical, Westchester Hispanic Law Enforcement Association, New York Life, ¿Que Tu Buscas? and the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals for sponsoring the event and congratulated the honorees.

"Hispanic Heritage Month is a great time to learn about the growing mix of Hispanic customs and cultures represented in Westchester,” said Astorino. “In particular, we have so many Hispanic-run businesses and public safety officers who are vital to our neighborhoods. I am proud to honor three exceptional Hispanic Westchester County residents who have not only excelled in their careers, but have also taken time to give back to their communities.”

The three Hispanic Westchester residents honored by Astorino at the event were:

  •  Sergeant Felix Corona, a Sleepy Hollow police officer for 17 years. Born in Cuba and raised in Sleepy Hollow, Sgt. Corona has spent many years involved in Westchester’s Hispanic community and serves as a liaison for local Hispanic merchants and the community.
  •  Francisco and Jessica Mejias the owners of the Los Andes Bakery, located in Sleepy Hollow, North Bergen, New Jersey and Peekskill. The Mejias have owned Los Andes Bakery for 25 years and are famous throughout Westchester for their empanadas and Chilean pastries.

History of Hispanic Heritage Month:

  • Hispanic Heritage, which begins on Sept. 15, marks the anniversary of independence for five Latin American countries, including: Mexico, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.
  • Commemoration of 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.