For Immediate Release
Friday, September 15, 2006
For information contact: Serena Ingre-Martinez, (703) 228-0590, Singreemail@example.com
ARLINGTON, Va. – Arlington County is celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 by offering a series of free events that include cross-cultural films, concerts and book discussions in Spanish. This year’s theme is “One America – Celebrating our Diversity.”
County Board Chairman Christopher Zimmerman kicked off the County’s celebration this week by issuing a proclamation and hosting a ceremony and reception at Courthouse Plaza. The County event on Wednesday, Sept. 13, included a performance by Panamanian folk dancers in traditional attire, and a presentation by County Board Member Walter Tejada, who highlighted the contributions of several Arlington Latinos to the community.
“The Latino community is a vital part of Arlington County,” Zimmerman said. “Our ongoing commitment to inclusion and diversity is the core of Arlington’s vision, and Latinos are a vibrant part of that vision.”
“Hispanic Heritage Month is a great opportunity to celebrate Latino heritage and continue to demonstrate the many ways the Latino community enriches every aspect of our society,” Tejada said.
Latinos Making a Difference in Arlington
Among the group and individual success stories Tejada recognized were:
Tejada, a Salvadoran immigrant who came to this country at age 13 and has risen to become Virginia’s highest-ranking Latino elected official, is himself a source of pride for the Arlington community.
Latinos in Arlington and County Government
Arlington has the highest proportion of Latinos of any jurisdiction in the Washington Metropolitan area. Approximately 20 percent of the County’s residents are Latino, according to the 2000 U.S. Census. Eighteen percent of Arlingtonians aged five or older speak Spanish at home.
Today approximately, 12% of theArlington County government’s workforce is Hispanic, compared to 8% in 1996. Of these, approximately 57% are Latino women and 43% are Latino men. Additionally, 10% of the County government’s workforce in management and professional positions is Latino.
Latinos are represented in 77% of all County departmental units where there are ten or more employees. In FY July 1, 2005 and June 30, 2006, out of 379 hires, 51 were Hispanic.
Hispanic Heritage Month 2006 Events in Arlington
Residents and the public are invited to attend these free events:
Cross Cultural Film Series
Thursday, Oct 5, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Central Library, 703-953-4480.
A 90-minute documentary produced by KEDT-TV. Public Television in Corpus Christi. Program traces the rise of the Mexican American civil rights movement from the 1920s to the 1980s.
Sunday, October 1, 4:30 p.m., Central Library
Bilingual Family program of Latin American Songs & Music.
Sunday, October 15, 3:00 p.m., Central Library
Alturas Duo is recognized as one of the most entertaining ensembles in the chamber music world today. The Duo brings together the unusual combination of the viola, charango and guitar.
Saturday, Oct. 14, 2 p.m., Columbia Pike Library
Earl Rush, founder of Stuck on Salsa and his partner Maribel Soto teach fundamentals of Salsa and its distillation of other forms of Latin and Afro-Caribbean dances including the Rhumba, Cha Cha Cha and the Mambo.
Spanish Language Book Discussions
Thursday, Sept. 21, 7 p.m., Central Library
Tuesday, Sept. 26, 7 p.m., Columbia Pike Library.
For more information about these and other events visit, www.arlingtonva.us/español
Arlington, Va., is a world-class residential, business and tourist location that was originally part of the "10 miles square" parcel of land surveyed in 1791 to be the Nation's Capital. It is the geographically smallest self-governing county in the United States, occupying slightly less than 26 square miles. Arlington maintains a rich variety of stable neighborhoods, quality schools and enlightened land use, and received the Environmental Protection Agency's highest award for "Smart Growth" in 2002. Home to some of the most influential organizations in the world - including the Pentagon - Arlington stands out as one of America's preeminent places to live, visit and do business.