The current COVIC – 19 pandemic has forced agencies and
organizations to change the way their celebrations of
Hispanic Heritage Month will be conducted this year (and
possibly beyond)—or even cancel their events.
For 20 years, there was a Latino Scholarship Night with the
Toledo Mud Hens; this year, it was scheduled for August
16. Like much of baseball and other entertainment events, it was
Another example includes this year’s edition of Gritofest
and a kickoff celebration at Promenade Park originally scheduled
for Saturday, Sept. 12 by Adelante—canceled because of COVID-19.
That celebration would have included a César Chávez Humanitarian
Award ceremony for this year’s recipients.
“The pandemic is in control. It was decided to cancel this
year’s event due to the risks associated with large gatherings
during the pandemic,” explained Sabina Elizondo Serratos,
Adelante executive director. “COVID 19 is still present.
However, there is still discussion on the actual awards
selection without an ‘event.’”
In Cleveland and Lorain, many events were cancelled. But some
went virtual, such as Tri-C’s annual Jazz Fest and the
44th Cleveland International Film Festival (CIFF). El Centro,
likewise, intends on having its annual Gala event, but over
the internet (see page 10).
In Toledo, the 31st annual
event will go on as planned, but in a ‘virtual’ format on
Thursday, Sept. 17, 6 to 7:30 p.m. The awards have been
“reimagined,” according to the Latino Alliance event
organizers—“to recognize individuals and an organization for
their outstanding achievements and service to Northwest Ohio”
during the pandemic. The online ceremony will still serve to
raise scholarship funds for Latino youth who want to attend a
college or university in the region to further their education.
Scholarship winners also will be announced via Zoom with
awards to the University of Toledo, Bowling Green
State University, Lourdes University, and Owens Community
College. Tickets are $50 each and available for purchase
The University of Toledo
is hosting a series of virtual events to mark Hispanic Heritage
Month, including livestreamed events locally and from across the
UT also will host a virtual forum Friday, Oct. 9, 1 p.m.
to discuss the history and implications of the use of the term
Latinx. Dr. Jorge Chinea, director of the Center for
Latino/a & Latino American Studies at Wayne State University,
will provide historical context of the term Latinx and
help lead a discussion on its implications. Other
UT online events can be found here:
Bowling Green State University
now recognizes HHM as
and will host an online kickoff Tuesday, Sept. 15, 20230, 7
p.m., Spoken Word with Carlos Andrés Gómez. Gómez is a
Colombian American poet, speaker, actor, and author of
award-winning poetry Fractures and Higito, as well
as the memoir Man Up: Reimagining Modern Manhood.
National Welcoming Week
also falls within Hispanic Heritage Month and several
Toledo-area organizations are teaming up to host a virtual event
on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 6 to 7:30 p.m. Women of Toledo
will host the event on their Zoom page in conjunction with
Welcome Toledo Lucas County (Welcome TLC) and the Toledo-Lucas
County Public Library. The event will be a conversation
exploring “the state of belonging” and a connection to one
another in the community. Event details and tickets are
Similar events are being held in communities across the U.S.,
aimed at bringing together immigrants, refugees, expatriates,
and U.S.-born residents to raise awareness of the benefits of
welcoming everyone—including new Americans. Advocates say
it’s more important than ever to stand up for refugees and
The Austin, Texas-based Emma S. Barrientos Mexican-American
Cultural Center will host its annual Viva México celebration
on Wednesday, Sept. 16,
6 to 9 p.m.
The lively virtual celebration will be
live streamed free on Youtube,
Facebook, and Twitter and include music and dance performances
by local artists. There will also be a Netflix watch party
Thursday, Sept. 24, 5:30 p.m., of a 2020 documentary called
Mucho Mucho Amor:
The Legend of Walter Mercado,
a film about the life and career of Walter Mercado, one
of the most influential and important astrologists in Latin
America and the world.
The Distinguished Hispanic Ohioan Awards (DHO), usually
held in late October by OCHLA, won’t be held this year due to
the coronavirus. Instead, the Ohio Commission on
Hispanic/Latino Affairs will “acknowledge leaders in the
community who are doing an outstanding job during the response
to COVID-19.” A date and details for how the celebration will be
held are still in the discussion stages. But OCHLA leaders are
clear that this initiative won’t replace the DHO Awards Gala,
which the agency hopes to celebrate again in 2021.
EDITOR’S NOTE: National Hispanic Heritage Month
celebrates the histories, cultures and contributions of American
citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean
and Central and South America.
The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week and
was expanded in 1988 to cover a 30-day period. September 15 is
significant because it is the anniversary of independence for
Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In
addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on
September 16 and September 18.