ABC7 Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

9/15 - 10/15

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014
ABC7 Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month
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ABC7 Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, ABC7 celebrates the amazing Hispanic culture here in the Bay Area!

September 15 - Mission Dolores

Mision San Francisco de Asis - more commonly known as "Mission Dolores" - is both the oldest building in San Francisco and the oldest original intact Mission in California. Founded in June of 1776 by Father Junipero Serra, Mission Dolores has remained a central place of religious, civic, and cultural life in San Francisco. Pictured here are glimpses of the Mission from 1835, 1935, and today! Take some time to visit this amazing landmark that reflects the history of the city and the diversity of today's community. Photos courtesy of Library of Congress.

September 16 - Mexican Independence Day

Happy Mexican Independence Day! Today commemorates the date of September 16, 1810, when parish priest Father Miguel Hidalgo made a brave and shocking speech to the town of Dolores, Mexico. He announced - in his now famous speech known as "El Grito de Dolores" (or "The Cry of Dolores") - that he was taking up arms against the tyranny of the ruling Spanish government. The townspeople followed, and the Mexican fight for independence began. Wishing the entire Bay Area a day of celebration, family, and pride in your heritage - whatever it may be! Photo courtesy of Library of Congress.

September 17 - John Santos

Bay Area musical legend John Santos is one of the foremost experts on Afro-Latin jazz music in the world. This 5-time Grammy nominee has traveled the world learning, performing and teaching his craft, working with many maestros of music, including Tito Puente (pictured here with John). His deep love and appreciation for Afro-Latin music also led him to serve as an adviser for the Smithsonian Museum on their Latin Jazz Advisory Committee. Play on, John Santos!

September 18 - Mexican Museum

Check out these gorgeous vintage photos from the exhibit "La Cocina: The Culinary Treasures of Rosa Covarrubias" on display through 1/18/15 at the Mexican Museum in San Francisco. Based in Mexico, Rosa Covarrubias and her husband Miguel were famed art collectors and hosts to many leading artists and intellectuals of the time, including Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo. And now, Diego Rivera's daughter - Guadalupe Rivera Marin - has just been appointed to the Arts & Letters Council of the Mexican Museum. She has offered her full support to the Museum as the premier West Coast museum of Mexican, Mexican-American, Chicano, Latin American and Latino art, culture and heritage. She'll be in town this Monday, 9/22/14, for a Museum fundraiser, so don't miss your opportunity to support the Mexican Museum and the lasting legacy of Latino art! Photo courtesy of the Mexican Museum, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution.

September 19 - Nnive Calegari

Arrrrrr!!! Today is Talk Like A Pirate Day and - thanks to the vision of an amazing local Latina named Nnive Calegari - you can go to the Pirate Supply Store at 826 Valencia in San Francisco's Mission District to fulfill ALL your pirate needs! The store is actually the retail arm of the literary nonprofit, 826 National, co-founded by Nnive Calegari and acclaimed author Dave Eggers 12 years ago, where students ages 6-18 get help with writing skills and creativity. As a true champion of students and teachers, Nnive and Dave also co-produced the documentary film "American Teacher", narrated by actor/activist Matt Damon. And Nnive is now working with the nonprofit Youth Speaks, overseeing the Brave New Voices.Initiative that combines the voices of young people, poetry slams, and arts education across the country. Thanks Nnive Calegari for your continual dedication to finding creative ways of engaging kids in writing, language, and the arts!

September 21 - Luis Granados

Today is World Gratitude Day and we are thankful for the community leadership of Luis Granados of the Mission Economic Development Agency! Luis has served as MEDA's Executive Director for the past 15 years, working to help San Francisco's low- and moderate-income Latino families to develop and manage personal and social assets - especially money, homes, and businesses. MEDA also works to connect under-resourced Latino families to high-speed internet in their home and offers free computer classes for all digital-literacy levels. Due to Luis' passion and long-term guidance, he's even been selected to receive the 2014 Community Leadership Award from the San Francisco Foundation! Bravo, Luis! Photos courtesy of MEDA.

September 22 - The Garza Family

Meet Miguel and Alejandra Garza, and their children Miguel, Angela, and Mateo (pictured top left). In 2010, the Garza family became Marin County's first Habitat for Humanity homeowners with the purchase of their 3-bedroom, 1-bath home in Novato. Before buying their Habitat home, Miguel and his family lived in a small townhome in an unsafe neighborhood that had no yard for the kids to play. Wanting to stay in Marin County where Miguel works as a social worker, finding an affordable rent in a safer area was a big challenge. But after applying for a Habitat home, the Garza's lives found the security and stability they'd needed. Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco is a non-profit affordable housing developer offering homeownership opportunities to Bay Area residents earning between $52,000 - $83,000 for a family of four. Volunteers help complete 85% of the work on the homes in order to keep the costs lower than market rate, and the families buying the homes must commit 500 hours of volunteer labor to the building of their homes and their neighbors' homes in place of paying a down payment.Photos courtesy of Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco.

September 23 - Clarion Alley Mural Art Project

Nestled in San Francisco's Mission District, tucked in between Mission Street and Valencia Street at 17th Street, you can find the bright and colorful world of the Clarion Alley Mural Art Project (aka CAMP). A true grass roots project that began in 1992, CAMP is organized and maintained by a revolving core of artists and community members who have volunteered thousands of hours to produce over 700 murals over the past 22 years by artists of all ethnicities, ages, and levels of experience. The original co-founders of CAMP were inspired by the mural cluster in the Mission District's Balmy Alley that focused on Central American social struggles. CAMP's murals cover a wide variety of themes and aesthetics. These are just a small sampling of the beautiful murals visible in the Alley, from artists Ray Patlan & Aaron Noble, Megan Wilson, and Crystal Vielula. And in the photo at top left (courtesy Erin Feller), CAMP organizer Christopher Statton poses in front of the Voice of Resistance mural for CAMP's 2014 Block Party on October 25, 2014, 11am - 11pm. Support this AMAZING community art space and join the celebration! Mural photos courtesy of CAMP.

September 24 - Caregivers

Blanca Dominguez (pictured at top right) cares for her beloved husband Eli at their home in San Francisco, with the help of a relative. She is just one of the countless family caregivers across the Bay Area. A majority of us will be caregivers at some point in our lives, providing long-term care for loved ones at home. This unpaid assistance comes from families, friends and neighbors. And thanks to the Fan Francisco-based Family Caregiver Alliance (FCA), Blanca and other caregivers can find the support and advice they need to sustain this often isolating work. FCA provides services for many local Spanish-speaking family and friends, like Blanca, caring for their loved ones. They've held Spanish Caregiver Retreats and offer a monthly Spanish Support Group. And there's a FREE conference for Spanish-speaking family and friends caring for someone with dementia or an aging loved one coming up on October 18th in San Francisco. Spread the word so family caregivers know they're not alone! Photos courtesy of FCA.

September 25 - Latino Comics Expo

Did you know that today is National Comic Book Day? And coming up on October 11th and 12th in San Jose is the Latino Comics Expo, highlighting the creativity of comic book creators whose work reflects the influence and celebration of Latino culture! Pictured here are images from just a few of the artists that will be on display. From stories about a young Latino boy and his flying dragon, tales of a masked Mexican wrestler named 'La Mano Del Destino,' and a children's book about a family of witches, you can find art and comics that truly inspire the imagination at this event. As the founders, Ricardo Padilla and Javier Hernandez have said "the Latino Comics Expo is one of the more unique venues for Latino creative expression that you'll find!" Find out more at

September 26 - Evelyn Orantes

UC Berkeley grad and longtime Bay Area resident Evelyn Orantes was named Oakland Museum of California (OMCA)'s first Curator of Public Practice in June. The position was created in order to keep this "museum of the people" connected directly to the community through exhibitions and program. During her 15 years working with the Museum, Evelyn has led programs including the popular and successful Das de los Muertos (Days of the Dead) exhibitions and community celebrations. "Growing up Latina in Southern California I like some people today didn't think museums were for me or about me," says Ms. Orantes. "Thanks to visionary arts and cultural organizations like OMCA that place the community at the forefront of planning and engagement, exhibitions, programs and education are increasingly relevant and accessible to all Californians." Congratulations Evelyn! You can see her impact for yourself by visiting OMCA! Photos courtesy of OMCA.

September 27 - LAM, community of Latino professionals

LAM is the largest and most active community of Latino professionals in the Bay Area. Through social media, inspiring events and an online magazine, LAM creates opportunities for highly educated and influential Latinos to inspire and connect with each other. What started seven years ago as an informal social group by Giovanni Dubois, is now a growing community of 9,000 members and growing. Join the fun at Photos courtesy of LAM.

September 28 - Manolo Davila

Manolo Davila grew up in San Francisco's Mission District, surrounded by art and music. He began playing congas and rapping as a child, and eventually discovered his father's classical guitar, sparking a newfound passion. Over the years, he has been an arts educator, performer, and community organizer. And now, he is one of the many Teaching Artists with LEAP. Dedicated to providing top quality arts education to Bay Area students, LEAP uses working artists to engage young minds. Manolo has said he loves working with young people, and is grateful for the chance to share the same feeling of wonder that he experienced as a child. You can support the efforts of Manolo and LEAP by attending their EPIC annual Sandcastle Contest, out at Ocean Beach in SF on Oct. 11! Don't miss it!

September 29 - Teatro Vision, Chicano theater company

Mark your calendars for October 9th through 19th to experience MACARIO, a one-of-a-kind theatrical adaptation of the classic Mexican novel and award-winning film. Teatro Vision Co-Founder and Artistic Director Elisa Marina Alvarado spent nearly a decade developing this exclusive production in collaboration with a nationally renowned team of artists, including playwright Evelina Fernndez, composer Russell Rodrguez, and choreographer Mara De La Rosa. The parable-like story features three spirits who attempt to persuade a poor working man (Macario) to reflect on his choices when he comes into the fortune of having a full turkey to eat. It is a work steeped in magic and history that is part of the fabric of Mexican culture and is on its way to becoming a Da de los Muertos tradition for San Jos and Silicon Valley. Photos courtesy of Teatro Vision.

September 30 - Maria Villasenor

Maria Villasenor (pictured at far left) is just one proud parent from Cesar Chavez Elementary School who has stepped up to become more involved as a parent leader at her child's school. Maria is showing off her diploma for the completion of 8 workshops of the School Governance Program, a leadership training program put on by Parents for Public Schools of San Francisco. The organization helps parents at each stage of the public education journey, from introducing them to the enrollment lottery process, to developing parent leaders in the schools and at the district, to improving systems at SFUSD. They recently provided a series of workshops to San Francisco Hispanic/Latino parents in four Mission District Schools - Bryan Elementary School, Cesar Chavez Elementary School, Everett Middle School, and John O'Connell High School. Parents must be engaged in helping their children get a quality public education, and PPS-SF is giving them the power to do it!

October 1 - San Francisco Ballet

TODAY is World Ballet Day, celebrating ballet by giving dance fans around the globe unprecedented access to world-renown artists via LIVE streams of studio rehearsals, interviews, and classes. San Francisco Ballet - the oldest professional ballet company in America - serves as the culmination of the global broadcast (which is being hosted by ABC7's own Leyla Gulen!) Watch at Featured in the SF Ballet Company are dancers from around the world - including over a dozen Hispanic dancers. Pictured here are soloist & Spaniard Dores Andr in Scarlett's Hummingbird, Brazilian-born Daniel Deivison-Oliveira and Kristina Lind in Balanchine's The Four Temperaments, and Cuban-born Principal Dancer Lorena Feijoo and Davit Karapetyan in Ratmansky's Shostakovich Trilogy. Each of them can be seen in these performances during the recently announced 2015 Repertory Season, starting December 12th with the Nutcracker. Don't miss your opportunity to experience the amazing artistry and beauty of the San Francisco Ballet! Photos courtesy of Erik Tomasson.

October 2 - Mi Pueblo Foods

On October 1st, Mi Pueblo Foods, the San Jose-based Hispanic grocery chain, announced the results of a month-long initiative to raise funds for legal representation for the thousands of unaccompanied minors who have crossed the US-Mexico border in search of a better life. Collaboration with the Mexican Heritage Corporation, Consul General of Mexico, the San Francisco Law School, local community partners and numerous individual donors, helped the campaign raised $100,124 last month. 100% of the funds raised will be directed to key community organizations on the front lines that are providing safe and humane housing, basic medical care, and legal representation as the children face immigration hearings that will determine whether they are sent back to the violence and hardship they escaped. Find out more about their campaign at Photo courtesy of Mi Pueblo Foods.

October 3 - Hispanic Heritage Foundation

Check out these nationally-recognized Bay Area teens! Each of these young men has been selected as Entertainment Software Association (ESA) Leader's On The Fast Track (LOFT) Video Game Innovation Fellows by the ESA and Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF - @hispanicheritagee) in Washington, DC. The 17-year-old Kriston twins from San Ramon (pictured top row, John on left and Thomas on right) developed a game to make learning computer coding fun and easy for all ages. San Francisco's Marc Wong, age 16, (pictured bottom left) conceived of a game that balances video game play with real-time drone strike data to educate people on the human costs of war, which many people often think of in the abstract. And Jorge Avelar-Lopez of Oakland, age 16, came up with the idea of two games that will help people track weight loss and support each other in their health efforts, as a way to battle obesity in our country. All of the 21 Fellows, between the ages of 15-25 years old, are technologically savvy and, at a young age, are already leaders in innovation and in the community. They were encouraged the fellows to utilize technology in the format of a game or app to address an issue in their community. Developing games and apps makes it easy to reach a wide spectrum of people. Whether a fellow is addressing childhood obesity, mathematical literacy, the gender gap in STEM, or coping with loss, the power of mobile technology means the fellows have the potential to reach countless people. The HHF believes in assisting one leader to help 100 more, and that these fellows have the tools and determination to take what they learn from the fellowship and use it to help others in their communities. Congratulations to these inspiring young Bay Area men and all the other Fellows from everyone at ABC7! Photos courtesy of Hispanic Heritage Foundation.

October 4 - Roxanne Cruz

Roxanne Cruz is a great local success story and is making a difference in our Bay Area! She is a first generation Latin American, who volunteers her time on the Board of Directors of the Richmond Community Foundation (since 2010) and has provided leadership for many of the Foundation's initiatives. She recently helped RCF launch The Nonprofit Resource Center, which provides trainings and technical resources for nonprofit organizations (that's her, seated in the center of the top left photo). Roxanne has worked hard to build her life, with degrees from Skyline Community College and Sacramento State. She spent time working as a case manager in a couple of non-profit organizations that provided social services to low income Latino families. And Roxanne is currently employed at Pacific, Gas and Electric Company and works as the Governmental Relations Representative in the East Bay. Through her work and volunteer efforts with RCF, Roxanne is a critical part of making the city of Richmond a vibrant, safe, and healthy community. Keep it up, Roxanne! Photos courtesy of RCF.

October 5 - Raising A Reader

Do you have memories of your parents reading to you as a child? Or the first time you read a book by yourself? Raising A Reader Bay Area is helping local families build early literacy skills for their young children by getting the whole family involved. Serving over 14,000 children and families in San Francisco, Alameda, and Contra Costa counties, they are kicking off an all new effort this year called Literacy Leaders. RAR Community Literacy Specialists Gabriela Rodriguez and Dulce Torres (pictured in the top row) have developed this new program that will build family and partner leadership to champion children's early literacy skills development in their communities by training family and community leaders in early literacy and family engagement content. This program will target organizations serving families whose children are not likely to be enrolled in formal early education, addressing the barriers and opportunities often inherent in families' situations - including non-English-speaking households. Program components focus on access to books, skill level with early literacy strategies, and parent confidence and motivation. Find out more at Photos courtesy of Raising A Reader.

October 6 - Dias de Los Muertos

Run - don't walk! - to the visually stunning annual Day of the Dead exhibit at the Oakland Museum of California. This year's exhibition is called Songs and Sorrows: Dias de Los Muertos 20th Anniversary, and runs from October 8, 2014 through January 4, 2015 in the OMCA Gallery of California Art. Here is just a brief glimpse at some of the beautiful artwork on display. Pictured at top left is a heartfelt ofrenda (offering) by Chicana artist Carmen Lomas Garza, one of the pioneers who brought Days of the Dead traditions to the Bay Area. Her ofrenda honors her maternal grandfather who taught her the value of growing vegetables and fruits and sharing the harvest with family. A large-scale mural is shown at bottom left, created by illustrator and vinyl toy customizer, Jesse Hernandez, in honor of the ancient Aztec goddess Mictecacihuatl, The Lady of the Underworld. In pre-Hispanic times she was believed to preside over the bones of the dead in the underworld known as "Mictlan" with her male counterpart "Mictlantecuthli". The third piece here (at right) is San Jose-native Viviana Paredes' installation, Alma (soul). In her work, we can observe the delicate interrelationships of our natural world and the disconnections modern society has to nature. She creates mixed media sculptures and installations, and through the art-making process natural materials are transformed into conversations involving the artwork and viewer. Photos courtesy of OMCA.

October 7 - Ravenswood Education Foundation

The Ravenswood Education Foundation supports 7 schools in East Palo Alto and eastern Menlo Park in a district with over 80% Hispanic students. One critical new initiative, the Makerspace Collaborative, aims to dramatically increase the number of students who take and succeed in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) coursework in high school and college. Learn more about this vital work at Photos courtesy of REF.

October 8 - 2014 Superfest

The 2014 Superfest: International Disability Film Festival is coming up on November 2nd! In its 28th year, the festival is organized by the Paul K. Longmire Institute on Disability at San Francisco State University and LightHouse for the Blind & Visually Impaired. Eleven films have been selected to celebrate cutting-edge cinema that portrays disability culture in all its diverse, complex, and empowering facets. Pictured here is the winner of the festival's Merit Award, the documentary "Everything is Incredible." It's the true tale of Honduran wheelchair rider, Agustin, who has spent over 50 years working to build a homemade helicopter from scraps found in his impoverished neighborhood. Don't miss this beautiful film and all of the others showing at this year's Superfest! All films will be presented with captioning and audio-description and all live dialogue will be available with American Sign Language and live captioning. Find out more at Photos courtesy of Superfest.

October 9 - Sanchez Adobe

we're saluting the oldest building in San Mateo County, Sanchez Adobe. The building and site have evolved over an elaborate history covering multiple centuries. It's been a prehistoric Indian village, a farm for Mission Dolores, the home of Francisco Sanchez - a cattle rancher & one of San Francisco's earliest mayors, a hotel, a speakeasy, and an artichoke storage facility! After restoration in 1953, it became a historic landmark and a living history park. The old adobe home and rancho was originally built by Mayor Sanchez (pictured here over the years, in 1865, 1891, and 1936 from top to bottom) and is a beautiful example of authentic Monterey architecture. Go experience the history for yourself at 1000 Linda Mar Boulevard in Pacifica! Photos courtesy of Library of Congress.

October 10 - Adriana Almazan Lahl

Adriana Almazan Lahl is an author and founder of Sal de Vida Gourmet. Passionate about Mexican history and cooking, her new book, Celebraciones Mexicanas: History, Traditions and Recipes, features nearly 200 traditional family recipes! The Mission-based non-profit, La Cocina, has helped her achieve her dreams of sharing her heritage and tasty creations with the masses. Adriana will share her Mexican roots and recipes (including her award-winning pumpkin mole!) in person at a cooking class at La Cocina on October grab your apron and meet her there! Photo courtesy of La Cocina.

October 11 - Marga Gomez

Award-winning Latina comedian, actress and playwright Marga Gomez is performing her hilarious one-woman show LOVEBIRDS at The Marsh Theater in Berkeley through Saturday October 18th. The show features Marga as a multitude of characters, including a macho restaurant manager, his rebellious daughter and all the lovestruck characters they cross paths with in New York's Greenwich Village. Don't miss out on Marga's high energy, proudly Latina, openly gay, slightly dorky, tragically sexy, laugh-getting act! Photos courtesy of the Patti Meyer/Marga Gomez.

October 12 - Jose M. Ortiz, Ed.D.

As Chancellor of Peralta Community College District, Jose M. Ortiz, Ed.D., oversees four campuses serving almost 25,000 students in northern Alameda County - Berkeley City College, College of Alameda, Laney College, and Merritt College. His extensive history in education administration across the country and in Puerto Rico made him the right candidate for this important position when he was appointed in 2012. We salute Chancellor Ortiz for being a role model to all of his students!

October 12 - Local mural

Visible on the side of the famous independent literary landmark, City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco, you can see this beautiful - and somewhat controversial - mural titled "Vida y suenos de la caada Perla (Life and Dreams of the Perla River Valley)." But do you know why it is there and what it signifies? It's a recreation of a mural by Sergio Valdz, originally painted in a village in the Chiapas region of Mexico. The village of Taniperla was invaded in 1998 by the Mexican Army in an effort to destroy the Tzeltal Mayan community thriving there. The mural was destroyed in the attack and Sergio was jailed for painting it. As word of this occupation spread, activists around the world vowed to reproduce Sergio's mural as a gesture of support for the indigenous peoples' struggles against the state. As a home for many outspoken voices, City Lights Bookstore welcomed the mural - painted by volunteers - on their wall. Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress.

October 14 - Todos los Santos Plaza

Have you ever enjoyed the Farmer's Market or the outdoor Community Concerts in Todos Santos Plaza in Concord (@cityofconcord)? Do you know how the plaza & the city got their names? Don Salvio Pacheco built the historic adobe building pictured here in 1835. Known as the Don Salvio Pacheco Adobe, it was the very first building to be built in the Diablo Valley. He called the area Todos Santos. In 1868, Don Pacheco gave the land surrounding the adobe to the refugees of the Hayward Earthquake & Flood (known as the original "Great San Francisco Earthquake"), and renamed the area Concord. You can visit this historic landmark at 1870 Adobe Street in Concord. Photo courtesy of Library of Congress.

October 15 - Mission District

Can you identify the Bay Area neighborhood pictured here in 1936? This is what San Francisco's Mission District looked like when many Mexican immigrants first began moving into the neighborhood - truly the start of the "The Mission" as we know it today. A beloved neighborhood currently also known for its continually rising rents and gentrification in recent years - and the resulting housing crisis it's caused for many longtime Mission residents. It makes this photographic evidence even more amazing when you know that it resides in the Library of Congress with the tagline: "Rent twenty to twenty-two dollars a month for three or four rooms." Oh how times have changed! Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress.