Hispanic Heritage Month at D-M

Members of the Hispanic Heritage Committee and volunteers prepare to serve food during Hispanic Heritage Month by hosting a food tasting at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Sept. 22, 2015. The observance for HHM is from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, while the committee will be hosting events for Desert Lightning Team members. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Mya M. Crosby/Released)

Members of the Hispanic Heritage Committee and volunteers prepare to serve food during Hispanic Heritage Month by hosting a food tasting at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Sept. 22, 2015. The observance for HHM is from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, while the committee will be hosting events for Desert Lightning Team members. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Mya M. Crosby/Released)

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Rafael Gonzalez, 610th Command and Control Squadron quality assurance manager, and Senior Airman Stacey Booker, 355th Aerospace Medicine Squadron public health technician, inspect a food tasting event for Hispanic Heritage Month at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Sept. 22, 2015. All of the Hispanic food provided for the event was homemade by Desert Lightning Team members. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Mya M. Crosby/Released)

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Rafael Gonzalez, 610th Command and Control Squadron quality assurance manager, and Senior Airman Stacey Booker, 355th Aerospace Medicine Squadron public health technician, inspect a food tasting event for Hispanic Heritage Month at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Sept. 22, 2015. All of the Hispanic food provided for the event was homemade by Desert Lightning Team members. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Mya M. Crosby/Released)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Heather Martinez, 355th Fighter Wing Staff NCO in charge of Command Post operations, tells Staff Sgt. Camille Galang, 355th Fighter Wing emergency action controller, what food the Hispanic Heritage Committee provided for the food tasting at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Sept. 22, 2015. Martinez and other members of the Hispanic Heritage Committee are hosting events to celebrate the heritage of Hispanic Americans. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Mya M. Crosby/Released)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Heather Martinez, 355th Fighter Wing Staff NCO in charge of Command Post operations, tells Staff Sgt. Camille Galang, 355th Fighter Wing emergency action controller, what food the Hispanic Heritage Committee provided for the food tasting at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Sept. 22, 2015. Martinez and other members of the Hispanic Heritage Committee are hosting events to celebrate the heritage of Hispanic Americans. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Mya M. Crosby/Released)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman El’Thasheia Echols, 355th Operations Support Squadron aviation resource manager, gives food to Noah Tyree, a Korean War veteran at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Sept. 22, 2015. The food was provided by the Hispanic Heritage Committee free of charge. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Mya M. Crosby/Released)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman El’Thasheia Echols, 355th Operations Support Squadron aviation resource manager, gives food to Noah Tyree, a Korean War veteran at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Sept. 22, 2015. The food was provided by the Hispanic Heritage Committee free of charge. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Mya M. Crosby/Released)

An Airman fills a cup of salsa at a food tasting hosted by the Hispanic Heritage committee at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Sept. 22, 2015. All of the Hispanic food provided for the event was homemade by Desert Lightning Team members. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Mya M. Crosby/Released)

An Airman fills a cup of salsa at a food tasting hosted by the Hispanic Heritage committee at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Sept. 22, 2015. All of the Hispanic food provided for the event was homemade by Desert Lightning Team members. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Mya M. Crosby/Released)

DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. -- Desert Lightning Team Airmen are celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month, the yearly appreciation of the heritage and cultural diversity of Hispanic Americans, from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15.

On the authority of the National Council of Hispanic Employment Program Managers, the theme for this year's Hispanic Heritage Month is "Hispanic Americans: Energizing Our Nations' Diversity." The involvement Hispanic Americans have had on the nation's culture is especially highlighted in this observance.

In 1968, the observance was started by President Lyndon Johnson. Twenty years later, President Ronald Reagan expanded the observation to a 30-day period.

The anniversary of independence for five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua is September 15, 2015. Additionally, Mexico declared its independence Sept. 16, Chile on Sept. 18, and Belize on Sept. 21.

D-M's Hispanic Heritage Committee is sponsoring five events to raise awareness of Hispanic Heritage Month.

The committee already held had a food tasting for DLT members to come and enjoy homemade traditional Hispanic food. Volunteers also visited Casa de los Niños, a children crisis center, where they made arts and crafts and read books to local children.

There are three more events for DLT members to get involved.

Sept. 30, a cooking class is scheduled to occur at the Health and Wellness Center from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. Those who sign up to participate will learn to make authentic "Mexican Green Chile con Carne."

"Latin Night," scheduled for Oct. 9 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., at the Mirage Club, is an opportunity for free dance lessons.

The closing event for the observance is "Zumba-thon: a Latin Fitness Party," scheduled for Oct. 15 at the Tech. Sgt. Arthur J. Benko Fitness and Sports Center from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

For more information, contact Staff Sgt. Gloria Westbrook, 355th Fighter Wing Staff command chief executive assistant, at 228-3559 or Tech. Sgt. Heather Martinez, 355th Fighter Wing Staff NCO in charge of Command Post operations, at 228-7400.