Hispanic Heritage Month

By Stephanie Holinka

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Virtual celebrations and cool cars

Sandia’s celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, Sept. 15-Oct. 15, went mostly virtual this year. The national theme of HHM this year was Hispanics: Be proud of your past and embrace the future.

1962 Chevy Impala at car show
Juan A. Bustos received Best of Show for his 1962 Chevy Impala. (Car photos by Bret Latter)

The Hispanic Outreach for Leadership and Awareness employee resource group’s festivities opened with a welcome video message from HOLA Executive Champion and Associate Labs Director Scott Aeilts, Kirtland Air Force Base Installation Commander Col. David Miller and NNSA Federal Contracting Officer Corinne Sisneros.

1949 Dodge Dually
Luciano Crespin won first place for his 1949 Dodge Dually.

“The Hispanic Heritage Month car show has been one way that the HOLA team has celebrated Hispanic Heritage month at Sandia,” Scott said. “This year, despite a scaled back and modified approach to ensure it was done with all COVID-19 safety protocols, it was a tremendous success.”

1955 Buick Special at car show
Michael Marquez received second place for his 1955 Buick Special.

The fifth annual car show was the only in-person event this year. Co-hosted by Sandia and KAFB and held at Hardin Field, the socially distanced event featured 24 vehicles on display.

2006 supercharged Ford Mustang at car show
Lynnwood Dukes walked away with third place for his 2006 supercharged Ford Mustang.

The Sandia workforce swept the car show awards. Juan A. Bustos received Best of Show for his 1962 Chevy Impala, Luciano Crespin won first place for his 1949 Dodge Dually, Michael Marquez received second place for his 1955 Buick Special and Lynnwood Dukes walked away with third place for his 2006 supercharged Ford Mustang. Visit Sandia’s Hispanic Heritage Month Facebook page for more photos.

judges inspect car at car show
Associate Labs Director Scott Aeilts, left, joined Kirtland Air Force Base’s 377 Vice Commander Col. Ryan Nye in judging the Hispanic Heritage Month car show.

HENAAC winners, art show and more

Also honored this year were the 2020 Hispanic Engineering National Achievement Awards Conference award winners Angela Rivas, who received a Luminary Honoree award, and Tito Bonano, recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award. Past HENAAC winners also were highlighted throughout the month, through a series of Q&A profiles.

art show first place painting
Grace Archibeck (12th grader) won first place with her painting of religious artwork being sold in Albuquerque, which also shows the resiliency of people selling homemade goods during this challenging time.

The art this year featured the annual youth art contests for high school, middle school and elementary school artists, along with a Sandian art display presentation. The Sandian art can also be viewed in person at the Thunderbird Café.

art show second place painting
Sophia Dallo (12th grader) earned second place for her painting, The Two Nurses, inspired by Frida Kahlo’s painting, The Two Fridas. In the spirit of being socially distant, Sophia painted the nurses six feet apart and wearing masks.

For the many, many people who are sorely missing the food this year, HOLA also put together Libro de Recetas/Dichos/Remedios Caseros, a booklet of recipes to calm the cravings for good food, served along with dichos (old sayings), as well as some traditional remedies.

Hispanic Heritage Month observances started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover the 30-day period. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988, on the approval of Public Law 100-402. Sept. 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on Sept. 16 and Sept. 18, respectively.

art show third place painting
Beatrice Castillo (7th grader) took third place for her painting inspired by how art influences her culture.