Hispanic Heritage Celebrated

Joslyn McCall, Staff Writer

Francis Marion University (FMU) will be participating in the 2013 celebration of the National
Hispanic Heritage Month.
FMU’s annual Hispanic Heritage Month Program will be sponsored by the Multicultural Advisory
Board and the Office of Multicultural and International Affairs. The program will take place in the
Lowrimore Auditorium (CEMC 114) on Monday Sept. 30 at 4 p.m.
The former Executive Director of Salsa Museum Mr. Jose Obando will be the guest speaker for
the event. Mr. Obando’s presentation “The 350+ Year Evolution of Salsa” will touch on the development
of salsa and contain two interactive sectors of instruments and dancing.
According to Dr. Daphne Carter-McCants, assistant dean of students, the university participates
in the celebration to ensure students have a broad look on culture and hopefully broaden their scope on
“We have had a great outcome over the past six years that Francis Marion has sponsored the
program,” Carter- McCants said. “An estimate of 80 to 120 students and faculty has been in attendance.
We also encourage the community to attend as well.”
In fall 2012 4,093 students were enrolled at that university. According to statistics found in the
FMU Fast Fact pamphlet, 38 of those students are from Hispanic origin.
The Multicultural board collaborates with the Department of Modern Language to get the word
out to students about the program.
Professor Maria Garcia Otero is a faculty member of the Modern Language Department and encourages
her students to attend.
“I want students and others to gain a broader knowledge of the Spanish speaking world and its
culture and most importantly a sense of local and global awareness,” Otero said. According to the 2010
Census, South Carolina was the fastest growing state for Hispanic population in the country with a 148%
increase.” National Hispanic Heritage Week began Sept. 15, 1968. Aug. 17, 1988, President Ronald
Reagan expanded National Hispanic Heritage week to National Hispanic Heritage Month; a 30-day
celebration of Hispanic culture. Hispanic Heritage Month was sanctioned into law under the Public law
100-402 with the approval of President Reagan.
Hispanic Heritage Month recognizes the 50.5 million Hispanic and Latin Americans and their
importance to the American culture. A number of events will be held in Washington, DC that concentrates on the 2013 national theme “Hispanic: Serving and leading our nation with pride and honor.”

The festivities will also include the anniversary of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras
and Nicaragua Independence from Spain.
For further information or questions, please contact Dr. Daphne Carter-McCants, assistant dean
of student and National Hispanic Heritage Month Program Advisor, at 843-661-1188.