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Home | Tag Archives: hispanic heritage month

Tag Archives: hispanic heritage month

ABC’s John Quiñones talks to EPCC Students

On Thursday, El Paso Community College (EPCC) hosted the well-known television personality, John Quiñones, from the TV Show What Would You Do?.

Quiñones gave an emotional talk to EPCC students about his Hispanic heritage, the struggles he went through earlier in his life and how he began in television.

“I did not speak English until I got into elementary school and me and my cousin used to shine shoes to help our parents with money,” John Quiñones said when talking about his childhood. “What makes a great man is what he would do when no one else is looking, that is what What Would You Do? is all about.”

At the event, EPCC students, faculty and staff were able to ask questions to Quiñones about recent issues, journalism, Hispanic Heritage, personal and professional life.

The event was part of the conclusion of the Hispanic Heritage Month (HHM) and took place at the Valle Verde Campus.

“We are very honored that a celebrity such as Mr. John Quiñones comes to our institution,” said Olga Chavez, Director of the EPCC Diversity Program. “Every year we work very hard at EPCC to celebrate the Hispanic Heritage Month with the El Paso community and try to make it better than the previous year.”


Hispanic Heritage Month is a series of events that EPCC Diversity Programs Department prepares year after year for the El Paso community.

This year’s theme, Honoring our Heritage, Building our Future, focused and honored those who have impacted the El Paso community.

Quiñones was also the Keynote Speaker at the Mentors’ Dinner held at the EPCC Administrative Services Center Auditorium Thursday night.

Hurd on the Hill: Celebrating Centuries of Hispanic Contributions

Each year, we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 through October 15 in order to reflect on the tremendous historical and cultural contributions that Hispanics have made in our communities.

There is no place that this rich history is more evident than right here in the 23rd Congressional District of Texas.

From the Mission Trail in El Paso to the one in San Antonio, we proudly display centuries of Hispanic achievements that make this part of the state unique from any other place in the nation. While we celebrate our Hispanic Heritage all year long in South and West Texas, it’s great to pause and use this month as an opportunity to highlight some of the great Hispanic-Americans who have impacted the course of our history.

In Tornillo and the El Paso area, a name you’ve likely heard is Marcelino Serna. He was a real hero who, during two World War I battles in France, killed thirty-two enemy soldiers and single-handedly captured twenty-four Germans.

For his acts of courage and honor, Private Serna was honored by the U.S. Army with two Purple Hearts and the Distinguished Service Cross, the highest honor that a soldier can receive after the Medal of Honor. This was presented by General John J. Pershing, and Serna became the most decorated World War I Veteran from Texas.

In addition to receiving these honors, he received two “Croix de Guerre”, the highest honor in France, one of which was presented to him by the Supreme Commander of Allied troops in Europe, Ferdinand Foch. He was buried with full military honors at Fort Bliss National Cemetery.

Honoring him became one of my legislative priorities when I was first elected in 2014. The newly-named Tornillo-Marcelino Serna Port of Entry is a constant reminder not just of his tremendous accomplishments but also of the countless Mexican-American immigrants that have risked their own lives to keep our nation safe.

As you work your way west in TX-23 among its 29 counties, you’ll find Zavala County, which is named after Lorenzo de Zavala. He was the interim Vice President of the newly founded Republic of Texas, and also was a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence from Mexico. B

y the time that Zavala arrived in Texas in July 1835, he had already held office on the local, state and national levels in the Mexican Colonial, Imperial, and National governments. Zavala’s legislative, executive, ministerial, and diplomatic experience, together with his education and linguistic ability, uniquely qualified him for the role he was to play in the drafting of the constitution of the Republic of Texas.

Lorenzo de Zavala was buried at his home in a small cemetery plot marked by the state of Texas in 1931.

The eastern most part of my district includes my hometown of San Antonio – The Alamo City.  An often-unsung hero of the infamous Battle of the Alamo was Andrea Castañón Villanueva, better known as Madam Candelaria.

Madam Candelaria was a mother of four and raised twenty-two orphans. She nursed the sick and aided the poor. It is said that she was inside the Alamo during the 1836 battle and nursed the ailing Jim Bowie.

Since evidence of survivors was sparse, this claim was never confirmed, but in 1891 the Texas Legislature granted her a pension of twelve dollars a month honoring her as an official Alamo survivor and for her work with smallpox victims in San Antonio. Madam Candelaria is buried in San Fernando Cemetery.

We should celebrate the remarkable contributions of local legends like Private Serna, Lorenzo de Zavala and Madam Candelaria, because every aspect of South and West Texas culture is interwoven with achievements of Hispanic Americans.

This fact is not just something to honor this month, but for the rest of the year.

El Paso Community College’s Hispanic Heritage Month Starts Friday

The El Paso Community College (EPCC) Hispanic Heritage Committee will host a series of events for the annual Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration. This year’s theme, Preserving our Legacy, will focus and honor those who have impacted the El Paso community.

California based, award-winning author Victor Villaseñor will share his stories with EPCC students during this year’s annual celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month.

This year’s celebration will encompass several free events including the Veteran’s Event: Untold Stories of Hispanic American Veterans. Veterans will speak about their experiences and a video documentary and a panelist discussion will follow; Campus Read-Ins invite the public and students to read a poem or work of or about a Hispanic American and a screening of Empowering the People, the story of Willie Velasquez, who in 1980 registered 1 million Latinos to vote. His legacy lives on today.

This screening, made possible through a partnership with KCOS-Channel 13, will be at 6:00 p.m. September 29 th at the Administrative Services Center, 9050 Viscount Blvd. Building A.

The Mentor’s Dinner will honor influential past and present members of the El Paso community where Victor Villaseñor, award-winning author of Rain of Gold, will be the keynote speaker.

Selected mentors for this year’s dinner are UTEP President Diana Natalicio, The Mora Family of Chico’s Tacos, Fred Loya Sr. and David L. Carrasco. Carrasco will be presented with the award posthumously. His son, David Carrasco, a writer, activist and a professor at Harvard Divinity School, will receive the award on his father’s behalf.

The kick off for the month-long celebration will be from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., on September 16 th at the Rio Grande Campus and end with a Mentor’s Dinner on October 14 th . During the dinner two EPCC students will be awarded $1,000 scholarships.

All events at EPCC campuses, except Mentor’s Dinner, are free to the public. Tickets for the dinner are $25 and will be on sale September 1 through September 30 at any EPCC cashiers offices. Tickets may also be purchased online.

For more information, contact (915) 831-3324 or Visit us on Facebook.


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