MARICOPA — The sounds of guitars, trumpets and eclectic instruments filled Maricopa City Hall Tuesday as council members and city employees celebrated the start of Hispanic Heritage Month.
Mayor Christian Price declared Sept. 15-Oct. 15 Hispanic Heritage Month in Maricopa. Price gave tribute to the Cultural Affairs Committee as well as prominent Hispanic members in the community.
“This is a diverse group of people, which I think is wonderful that it is reflective of the city itself. And that is something we are really proud of,” he said.
Price said based on 2015 United States census estimates, 24 percent of the residents of Maricopa come from a Hispanic background. That number is expected to grow to 27 percent by 2020.
He said Hispanics make contributions in every facet of society. He referenced a 2010 study from Arizona State University that found more than $35 billion flows into Arizona’s economy from the state’s Hispanic community.
“That has created an enormous impact, which positively contributes to the quality of life for all Arizonans,” he said.
Councilwoman Julia Gusse also spoke to the occasion. As a proud Latina, Gusse said it’s vital to celebrate accomplishments made by Latinos, and the heritage month is one way to do that.
“It is important to acknowledge the many cultures that have contributed to the America we know today,” she said. “Hispanics are changing the landscape of this country.”
The city had musical performances from the Santa Cruz Valley Union High School mariachi band Cielito Lindo.
In honor of this month, the city is hosting a variety of Hispanic-themed activities. On Sept. 29 the game night at Copper Sky Recreation Center will have an availability of Hispanic-oriented games, including Lotería (Mexican Bingo).
On Oct. 3 at 11 a.m. and Oct. 4 at 4 p.m. Central Arizona College will show the movie “Under the Same Moon.”
There will be a meet and greet on Oct. 6 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Copper Sky. This will feature art exhibits as well as the chance to meet artists Anthony Gonzales, Valeria Bejar and Laura Cano. There will also be musical performances by guitarists Derrick Mendonca and Serena Nicolle.
In addition, throughout the month, there will be displays and exhibits from local residents of Hispanic descent at City Hall, Copper Sky and the Maricopa Public Library.
The city encourages all residents to participate in these events as a way to pay tribute to and recognize the accomplishments Hispanics have made to the city, state, nation and world.