Tinker Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Published Sept. 24, 2021 By 2nd Lt. Leyinzca Bihlajama 72 Air Base Wing Public Affairs TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Oklahoma -- Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, recognizing the achievements and contributions of Hispanic Americans. The observation was first introduced in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson. It was later expanded by President Ronald Reagan to cover a 30-day period, as it coincides with the national independence days in several Latin American countries. The U.S. Hispanic population is the largest and fastest growing minority population in the last decade. Data from the PEW Research Center reports that Hispanics accounted for 51 percent of the entire U.S. population growth between 2010 and 2020. Oklahoma’s Hispanic population saw an increase of 140,000 during the decade. During his Proclamation on the national celebration President Joe Biden stated “National Hispanic Heritage Month is an important reminder of how much strength we draw as a Nation from our immigrant roots and our values as a Nation of immigrants.” The Tinker Hispanic and Latino Heritage Committee aims to further celebrate those immigrant roots and aid in forming a more diverse and inclusive community. The HLHC recently collaborated with the local chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens during a clean-up project at Roosevelt Middle School in Oklahoma City. The committee will be hosting “Un Sabor de Culturas” to celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month on Oct. 15. from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Tinker Chapel, featuring food from different cultures, music and dance performances. Those interested in volunteering at the event should contact Senior Airman Heidi Paramo-Flores at Heidi.Paramo_Flores@us.af.mil or Master Sgt. Joe Calderon at Joe.Calderon@us.af.mil.