It had been many years since Hogg Middle School put on a full scale celebration in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, which is observed September 15 through October 15. However, because close to 80 percent of the school’s student body is Hispanic, Hogg’s PTA and administration wanted to mark the occasion with a night to remember for the community. Last Wednesday, September 26, the showcase of Latin American culture, foods, art, crafts, and poster presentations became a reality.
PTA Vice President and Co-Chair of Programs Debbie Muniz and Claudia Ortega-Hogue spearheaded the project and began meeting in the summer to plan. Muniz said that about 25 parents, grandparents, community members, students, and Hogg staff made the event a possibility the night of the event by sharing a dish or dessert, hosting a table, serving samples, setting up, decorating, cleaning, or taking photos, among other tasks.
Highlights were Mariachi and Ballet Folkloric performances by students from Crockett Elementary School; a meet and greet with on-air radio personality of Latino Mix 104.9 & 93.3, Beto Nájera, who shared his journey; an art exhibit celebrating Latin American culture hosted by Hogg parent, Art Historian, and Art Gallery owner, Yvonamor Palix; and perspective from Princeton and Yale graduate Raul Ramos who is currently an associate professor at the University of Houston teaching Chicano/a History to 1910, History of the American West, Texas to 1865 and Borderlands History.
Last but not least were craft tables where participants could make worry dolls, or Muñeca quitapena, and Mexican tissue flowers – as well as a homemade salsa competition hosted by teacher Janay Goodman and judged by a group of Hogg’s Culinary Art students. Congratulations to Nytzia Deason for making the prize-winning dip.
Other thank yous go out to the NALEO Education Fund for providing a civic engagement presence, Martha Martinez for the decorations, Andrea Dulany for the Cafe de Ollo and Mexican Hot Chocolate Bar – and to Dulany’s parents who provided a Spanish/English book table. The PTA would also like to thank Facilities Manager Ms. Rose and the Razorback Custodial Team for their continued support.
“Building community is at the heart of Hogg’s PTA,” said Debbie Muniz. “Programs like this provide an opportunity for families, teachers, administrators, students, and the community to connect and build a sense of community. This program celebrated with music, dance, and cuisine and also through meaningful learning experiences.”