City of Cleveland celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month
By Arooj Ashraf, La Prensa Corespondent
City of Cleveland Community Relations Board hosted a celebration for Hispanic Heritage Month at the City Hall Rotunda on Sept. 15, 2011. Two hundred and fifty guests joined Mayor Frank G. Jackson to honor the ‘Many backgrounds, Many Stories… One American Sprit’.
Mayor Jackson thanked the Latino community for its contributions to the city and presented Deputy Chief of Police Hector Luis Cuevas with recognition for outstanding service in the Cleveland Police Department. Jackson in the past six years as mayor said he could always turn to Cuevas for stability: “I believe Cleveland is a better city, safer city and that the command staff in the police decision is a better and more respected division for the work that DC Cuevas did.”
Cuevas began his association with Cleveland Division of Police in 1986 and became in charge of Police Division’s Internal Affairs Unit in 1999. Commander Harold Pretel praised Deputy Cuevas for his leadership and eye for detail, and said the department and officers serving under him are better for it. Pretel said Cuevas best demonstrated his leadership after the September 11, 2001 attacks and helped the department improve and move forward through challenging transitions.
Meenakshi Singh, Jacqueline Muhammad, and Shari Clouds
Lucy Torres (Hispanic Liaison to the Mayor) with Nano Cabrera (International singer from Puerto Rico) and Eduardo Romero (Master of Ceremony).
Lucy Santiago sings the National Anthem for
Photos by Arooj Ashraf.
Keynote speaker, Bernardo García, Commissioner of Water Department City of Cleveland, recently arrived in Cleveland from Kansas City, MO. He praised Mayor Jackson for his leadership in Cleveland and the reputation and respect he has earned within the community. García said in celebration Hispanic Heritage Month it is critical to remember the diversity within the community that is rich in culture, ethnicity, and language. He said Latinos are unique in their preservation of language and culture through third generation immigrants and their pride of their roots is an asset, worn as a badge of honor.
The celebration included musical performances by Lucy Santiago and Puerto Rican singer and guitarist Nano Cabrera. Imaris Rivera, a student at John Hayes High School, pleased guests with a beautiful performance of the national anthem. Norka’s Kitchen provided scrumptious authentic Peruvian lunch.
Lucy Torres, Hispanic Liaison to the Mayor, thanked sponsors and City Council members, and the planning committee for their dedication to celebrating Latino culture.
The main sponsor for this year’s event was Cleveland Hopkins Airport Department of Port Control, which launched off Hispanic Heritage Month with “A Salute to Hispanic Heritage: Latinos Going Places,” on Sept. 14.
Kenneth D. McClintock-Hernández, Secretary of State, Puerto Rico, was the keynote speaker for that Sept. 14 event, with artists Rafaél Ana Luisa Sánchez, Hector Castellanos Lara, and Rafaél Valdivieso Troya recognized. Music by The Latin Fair Trade Trio created a perfect event ambiance, with the catering by Christina Bermudez satisfied the appetite. Jacqueline Muhammad, Community Relations Manager for Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, said the Latino community is an integral part of the airport’s family and recognizing their contributions was important.