September 15 - October 15, 2011 is National Hispanic Heritage Month!
On September 15th, a Department-wide kick-off was hosted for the
month in the Jefferson Auditorium. Secretary Vilsack provided opening
remarks and was followed by Jose Rico, Deputy Director for the White
House Initiative for Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans. You
can view and listen to the Secretary's and Deputy Director's remarks at
The theme of this year's celebration is "Many Backgrounds, Many
Stories...One American Spirit." This annual event highlights past and present contributions by U.S.
Hispanics who trace their roots to Spain, Mexico, and the Spanish-speaking nations of Central America, South America,
and the Caribbean (for more information, please view this
factsheet on National Hispanic Heritage Month (PDF; 80 KB)). The first place winner of the 2011 National
Hispanic Heritage Month Poster Contest is Ms. Jennifer Van Eps, Visual
Information Specialist in Spokane, WA. Ms. Van Eps’ entry was selected
by a panel of judges from among 34 entries. Ms. Van Eps will receive a
$300 spot award for her efforts, and her entry will serve as the
official poster for 2011 National Hispanic Heritage Month
(PDF; 756 KB)
activities. For additional information, please contact National Hispanic
Emphasis Program manager,
Jacqueline Padrón, at 301-504-2282.