To kick off National Hispanic Heritage Month, Natomas students painted a colorful mural on the public artwork known as “The Book” that greets motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians along Del Paso Road near Inderkum High School.
The Hispanic-themed mural, depicting the flags of Latin American countries, contains a quote of inclusiveness by Cesar Chavez: “Preservation of one’s own culture does not require contempt or disrespect for other cultures.”
Inderkum High School junior Heidi Sainz, an International Baccalaureate student, played a major role in designing the artwork and painting the mural. She was one of about a dozen members of Inderkum’s Sabor Latino Club to assist with the project.
In addition to Inderkum students, youth from Natomas Charter, H. Allen Hight Elementary, and Witter Ranch Elementary schools pitched in. The project was spearheaded Inderkum’s PTSA, led by Sonia Mercado, and sponsors included Home Depot, Bimbo Bakeries, Mountain Mike’s Pizza, Torres Caterer and La Mex Taqueria.
Last week, the NUSD Board of Trustees honored National Hispanic Heritage Month by awarding certificates of appreciation to two Hispanic women who have been active for years in Natomas school, youth and community events — Sonia Mercado, a California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation employee, and Elena Quintero, an aide to Sacramento Mayor Pro Tem Angelique Ashby.
National Hispanic Heritage Month is an annual event honored throughout the country but one that has special significance in Natomas because nearly one of every three students in NUSD is Hispanic.
The month of Hispanic is a little unusual in that it covers a 30-day period but not the entire month of September. It extends from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 and celebrates the history, culture and contributions of Americans whose ancestors came from Mexico, Central and South America, Spain, and the Caribbean.
By starting mid-month, National Hispanic Heritage Month kicks off on the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Mexico’s independence day is one day later, Sept. 16, and Chile celebrates its independence on Sept. 17.