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AFRL Aerospace Systems Directorate celebrates Hispanic heritage

Air Force Research Laboratory Aerospace Systems Directorate Diversity Council Chair Miguel Maldonado (left) and Senior Research Engineer Edwin Corporan prepare to take the stage at the 2018 Hispanic Heritage Festival in Dayton, Ohio. Maldonado is leading the directorate’s Hispanic Heritage Month activities, taking place Sept. 15-Oct. 15, 2019. (Photo courtesy of Maria Maldonado)

Air Force Research Laboratory Aerospace Systems Directorate Diversity Council Chair Miguel Maldonado (left) and Senior Research Engineer Edwin Corporan prepare to take the stage at the 2018 Hispanic Heritage Festival in Dayton, Ohio. Maldonado is leading the directorate’s Hispanic Heritage Month activities, taking place Sept. 15-Oct. 15, 2019. (Photo courtesy of Maria Maldonado)

Music and dance ensemble Rondalla Puerto Rico is pictured at the 2018 Hispanic Heritage Festival in Dayton, Ohio. Miguel Maldonado, group member and Air Force Research Laboratory Aerospace Systems Directorate Diversity Council chair, is leading the directorate’s Hispanic Heritage Month activities, taking place Sept. 15-Oct. 15, 2019. (Photo courtesy of Maria Maldonado)

Music and dance ensemble Rondalla Puerto Rico is pictured at the 2018 Hispanic Heritage Festival in Dayton, Ohio. Miguel Maldonado, group member and Air Force Research Laboratory Aerospace Systems Directorate Diversity Council chair, is leading the directorate’s Hispanic Heritage Month activities, taking place Sept. 15-Oct. 15, 2019. (Photo courtesy of Maria Maldonado)

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – Music, fun, food, and culture are on the agenda as the Air Force Research Laboratory Aerospace Systems Directorate kicks off Hispanic Heritage month.

According to the directorate’s Diversity Council Chair Miguel Maldonado, the organization, along with the Wright-Patterson Hispanic Heritage Month Committee, will host a number of activities designed to foster cultural awareness and camaraderie during the month of celebration, which runs from Sept.15-Oct. 15. He says his hope is that these fun events will give participants an opportunity to get to know each other better while taking in new and exciting activities as well.

“We want to give people throughout the directorate a taste of Hispanic culture,” said Maldonado. “It is our goal that through events like these, we can celebrate our cultural differences while at the same time learn about the many things we all have in common.”

Maldonado said the events planned for this year’s celebration include a mix of activities that will offer something for everyone. “We want everyone, young and old, to find something to enjoy and come out for and have a great time. We’re holding events both on and off base, and most are open to friends and family, so it’s a great time to join in.”

Events scheduled for the Hispanic Heritage Month celebration include:

--A Hispanic Heritage Month kickoff celebration, Thursday, Sept. 19, 2:30 p.m., at the Wright-Patterson Club, 800 Lahm Circle, WPAFB. This event will feature a discussion with wing leadership, as well as guest speaker Mr. Tony Ortiz, diversity liaison for the Ohio Department of Administrative Services, Office of Talent Management-Human Resources Division. Wright-Patterson employee families and children are invited to attend.

--AJ Zumba, Wednesday, Oct. 2, 5:30-6:30 p.m., at the Wright Field Fitness Center, Building 262, 571 C Street, WPAFB. This is a free dance fitness class open to all Wright-Patterson employee families and children.

--Latin Night, Friday, Oct. 11, 6-9 p.m., at the WPAFB USO, 2221 Birch St. This event will be hosted by Maldonado and his wife, Maria, and will feature free Salsa, Merengue, and Bachata dance lessons as well as a free food tasting. This free class is open to all Wright-Patterson employee families and children.

--Food tasting, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m., Building 45, Room 032/036. This event is open to the members of the Aerospace Systems Directorate and will feature a variety of regional dishes for participants to sample. Guest speaker will be entrepreneur, Hispanic issues advocate, and retired Proctor & Gamble Research and Development Director, Mr. Miguel Alemañy.

Additionally, the Puerto Rican, American, and Caribbean Organization, and Five Rivers Metroparks will host the 19th annual Hispanic Heritage Festival on Saturday, September 14, from 11 a.m.-11 p.m. at the Riverscape Metropark in Dayton. This celebration will include music from a variety of performers, as well as a parade, dance lessons, karaoke, games, a cultural expo, and much more. Admission is free.

For information on Hispanic Heritage Month or any of the activities listed, contact Miguel Maldonado.