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September 11, 2015 (El Cajon)--The Grossmont College Latino Film Festival and a Cuyamaca College Latino Heritage Celebration highlight an array of special events honoring Hispanic Heritage Month at the two East County colleges beginning Sept. 15.

All of the events are free and open to the public.

The Latino Film Festival explores Latino/a culture and history and is coordinated by the Latin@ Alliance, co-sponsors of Grossmont College’s Hispanic Heritage Month, along with the World Arts & Culture Committee. The Latino Film Festival runs from Sept. 15 through Oct. 13, and films will be shown at Grossmont College in Building 26, Room 220. All films are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.

Films include:

·         “The Book of Life” (about a young man torn between fulfilling the expectations of his family and following his heart) on Tuesday, Sept. 15

·         “Yo. La Peor de Todas” (about the grim challenges faced by a nun in 17th Century Mexico), on Tuesday, Sept. 22

·         “Sin Nombre” (about a Honduran teenager yearning for a better future) on Tuesday, Sept. 29

·         “Underwater Dreams” (about a ragtag team of undocumented immigrants who win a high school competition) on Tuesday, Oct. 6;

·         “Tambien la Lluvi” (inspired by the real life Water Wars in Bolivia) on Tuesday, Oct. 13.

Other Hispanic Heritage Month events include:

·         Wednesday, Sept. 16, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Main Quad, Grossmont College

16 de Septiembre Celebration: Listen to music provided by Mariachi Imperial de San Diego and munch on carne asada tacos and other great food.

·         Thursday, Sept. 17, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Cuyamaca College Grand Lawn:  Latino Heritage Month Celebration: Cuyamaca College holds an entertaining Latino Heritage Month Celebration with a keynote address by longtime educator Maria Nieto Senour, who now serves as president of the San Diego Community College District’s Board of Trustees; the Calpulli Mexihca Dancers; mariachi by Tanya Montellan; a Food Fest featuring Sarita’s Taco Shop; and a free salsa bar from Rubio’s.

·         Tuesday, Sept. 29, 1.p.m. to 2 p.m., Cuyamaca College Student Center

Latino Heritage Workshop: Dr. Tanis Starck, director of InterCultural Relations at San Diego State University, will lead a Latino Heritage Workshop.

·         Wednesday, Sept. 30, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Main Quad, Grossmont College

Grossmont College Afro-Cuban Ensemble, founded by Derek Cannon, specializes in performing popular Afro-Cuban and Brazilian musical styles such as the Mambo, Cha-Cha, Bossa Nova, Samba, Merengue, and Afro-Cuban.

·         Thursday, Oct. 15, 11 a.m. Main Quad, Grossmont College

  Aztec Dancers will perform in full costume, and will explain the significance of their performance as it relates to the indigenous people that once dominated large parts of Mesoamerica from the 14th to 16th centuries.

President Ronald Reagan signed Hispanic Heritage Month into law on Aug. 17, 1988, expanding on National Hispanic Heritage Week, which was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson on Sept. 17, 1968.

Sept.15 was chosen as the starting point for Hispanic Heritage Month because it is the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries. In addition, Mexico, Chile, and Belize celebrate their independence on Sept. 16, 18, and 21, respectively.

One year after Hispanic Heritage Month was established, Congressman Representative Dale Kildee of Michigan spoke for many when he noted that it not only recognized Hispanic-American contributions to U.S. culture, “we are also commemorating the growth of our Nation’s culture, vastly broadened and enriched by its Hispanic citizens.”

Grossmont College is located at 8800 Grossmont College Drive in El Cajon and Cuyamaca College is located at 900 Rancho San Diego Parkway in the community of Rancho San Diego near El Cajon.


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