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The history behind Hispanic Heritage Month with MexicantownCDC

Community Connect Segments - Mexicantown Community Development Corporation
Community Connect Segments - Mexicantown Community Development Corporation 08:57

Southfield (CW50) - In 1989, a group of Latino community leaders created a Latino-owned and operated agency, MexicantownCDC, in order to preserve, promote, and enrich the Latino community in Southwest Detroit.

Since its founding, MexicantownCDC has become the leader in the revitalization of Southwest Detroit. The corporation's 17.5 million dollar development of its Welcome Center, and Mercado buildings and outdoor plaza, were built in honor of the Latino community's contributions to Detroit and the state of Michigan.

MexicantownCDC has contributed to the development, renovation, and promotion of some of the city's most well-known retail spaces, art galleries, and community spaces.

Ray Lozano, Executive Director of the MexicantownCDC, joins Lisa Germani on Community Connect to discuss the progress of the organization in recent years, as well as the history behind Hispanic Heritage Month.

Community Connect Host Lisa Germani, with Ray Lozano, Executive Director of MexicantownCDC Logan Tesmer/CBS Detroit

Lozano talked about how the average person doesn't necessarily understand what the meaning behind Hispanic Heritage Month is, saying that most believe it's a Mexican holiday, even though there are 22 other countries that are either Spanish-speaking or "Latin in essence."

On September 16th, Mexico will celebrate the country's independence from Spain, which was granted in 1810 after 300 years of Spanish-rule.

Hispanic Heritage Month, which is celebrated each September, owes its roots to Lyndon Johnson, who in 1968 establish a 2-week celebration of Hispanic Heritage. In 1988, President Ronald Reagan created Hispanic Heritage Month. There are several other Spanish-speaking nations that celebrate their independence days in and around he month of September.

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Watch Community Connect, Saturday at 7am on CW50

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