The banquet room at the Templeton Landing was full to capacity as the Hispanic Heritage Council of Western New York Inc. [HHC], celebrated their 4th Annual Hispanic Community Breakfast. Spearheaded by Master of Ceremonies HHC Director Michele Agosto all those in attendance this past Saturday June 25th received an overwhelming amount of information on the organization. The yearly event serves to announce to the Western New York Community, HHC plans for the coming year and to reflect on the previous year’s accomplishments.
This year’s event celebrated the launch of the state of the art digitized historical archive. The “Hispanic Heritage History Project” available at the Library’s website www.BuffaloLib.org and at www.hispanicheritagewny.org, the project documents and preserves the stories of local Hispanics, both past and present, for future generations. Begun by HHC four years ago as the “Bring Us Your History! Project, the digital archive including photographs, audio oral histories and documents is a local first that has gained both local and national attention. The Hispanic History project is sponsored in part by the Arts Services Initiative of WNY . Anyone interested in contributing to the archive is asked to contact the Council at firstname.lastname@example.org . or Historian Stephany Bucalo email@example.com .
Also highlighted at this year’s breakfast was a second milestone: the announcement of “The Ralph R. Hernandez Bilingual Education Scholarship”. , The annual scholarship will be offered to qualified college-bound Hispanic students pursuing a degree in teaching, with a focus on Bilingual Education in area schools. HHC Director Dr. Tamara Alsace announced that the application process is currently underway and any interested applicants can visit the organization web page www.hispanicheritagewny.org , to inquire about eligibility requirements and criteria for application submission no later than midnight July 30, 2016.
With the support of Buffalo State College, also shared at the event was a trifold informational display with HHC’s proposed plans to complement the streetscape and improvements on the Niagara Gateway “Avenida San Juan” also known as the Hispanic Heritage District with Hispanic history and heritage using art, signage and information of prominent locations on the corridor and the history of local Latinos.
The breakfast featured key note speaker and Buffalo native, the Honorable Juan A. Alsace, Consul General of the United States in Toronto, Canada. Mr. Alsace a career statesman who has been an inspiration and role model for the local Hispanic community, has 30-years of service at the Department of State, he’s worked in a variety of positions in Washington, D.C., Spain, the Caribbean, South America, and around the world.
The event also included special recognitions and presentation to:
The Pioneers of the local Hispanic community, Pedro Mauras and Rafael Rodriguez, who were part of the original groundbreaking of the Agustin “Pucho” Olivencia Community Center the home “the Grease Pole Festival” the oldest ethnic festival in Western New York.
HHC would like to take this opportunity to thank the Masters of Ceremonies Michele Agosto, program committee; Esmeralda Sierra, Aileen Gonzalez-Marti, Nancy S. Fernandez, Dinorah E. Santos, Maritza Vega, Tamara Alsace, Amy Casillas-Osorio, Maria Rosario-Cala, Samantha Gonzalez, and volunteers Dee Santos, Barbara Aviles, Ari Tylec, and Carlos Rivera. Also a special thanks to Anne Conable [B&ECPL Community Engagement Manager], sponsors, contributors, and guest in attendance making this another successful event for the WNY Community.