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Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations hope to 'enrich the community'


Orange County residents celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month at the Seymour Center on Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019. 

Every year, Sept. 15 marks the start of National Hispanic Heritage Month, and Orange County has committed to this year's celebration.

All over the United States, Latin Americans honor their rich history and significant contributions to North America with a month’s worth of ceremonies and events. 

On Sept. 26, the Seymour Center had a National Hispanic Heritage Month celebration. The celebration encompassed the cultures of many Latin countries, including Peru, Venezuela and Colombia. 

The event brought together not only many different Hispanic cultures, but also many non-Hispanic people eager to learn. Dances, presentations and traditional food dishes turned the senior center into an engaging and exciting facility. 

“We can enrich the community with our cultures," said Nora Olivieri, a member of the club. 

Olivieri said she was excited to see people show off their heritage and explain their history to the attendees of the event. People enjoyed the music, food and fun of the different cultures, she said.

“I think people are happy knowing people from other countries,” Olivieri said. 

After the celebration, many of the participants and attendees gathered for a showing of 'Latino Americans,' a documentary that highlights the contributions of Latin Americans to North America. The six-part series will be airing an episode every Thursday through the month. Initially aired on PBS, the documentary series was intended to educate attendees on what Latin American history looks like. 

Meghan Davis, program assistant manager for the Orange County Department on Aging, said she wanted to showcase Hispanic heritage across the county. 

“Chapel Hill is very diverse. With these programs, we want to make sure we are offering culturally diverse programs and events,” she said. 

She said that, in recognizing the importance of Hispanic heritage in America, she encourages all people, especially non-Hispanic people, to engage in Hispanic Heritage Month. 

“It gives a chance for other participants to learn about other cultures,” Davis said in regards to other events offered this month. 

On Thursdays throughout the month, the Seymour Center will be hosting various activities in Spanish for Orange County residents who are over sixty years old. Offered from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., these events include socialization, exercise, relaxing activities and opportunities to learn new skills.

On Oct. 30, the Seymour Center is planning to host 'Hand Painted Sugar Skull Cookie Workshop,' an event where people can learn about the Day of the Dead while hand-painting their own sugar cookies. 


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