The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Galveston District officially observed Hispanic Heritage Month (HHM) with a virtual presentation hosted by the district’s Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) office today.
The Department of Defense’s official theme for HHM this year is “Esperanza: A Celebration of Hispanic Heritage and Hope”.
Dr. Rose Caballero, USACE Galveston’s EEO manager who coordinated and hosted the event, introduced guest speaker, Sally Davila, a leader within the local Hispanic community. She is currently a member of the League of United Latin-American Citizens (LULAC) and a representative in a African-American and Hispanic coalition of local, small businesses.
Davila, born Maria Celestina Alaniz Davila, was nicknamed Sally after one of the title characters of the children’s book “Sally, Dick, and Jane”—a story she enjoyed as a child.
The 78-year-old Galveston native reflected on the history of the HHM observance and what it means to her. Davila shared some anecdotes about her grandmother, who was formative in her upbringing and cultural identity.
“I am very active in folkloric dancing and even make tamales on special occasions; all to keep her memory alive,” Davila said.
Davila touched on the theme of unity during her speech.
“Unity is a word that our nation must exemplify,” she said. “We must be united. Otherwise, discord and mayhem will arise.”
Davila likened unity to the teamwork USACE Galveston employs to carry out the variety of highly visible projects currently underway.
“Our—your—part in this world is to make our nation complete, total, and strong,” Davila said, citing the key infrastructure and flood protection projects USACE Galveston provides the state of Texas.
The guest speaker and proud ‘abuela’ (grandmother) of eight also touched on some current projects helping the communities of Galveston.
Davila and other local minority group leaders are preparing to roll out ‘The Hue Pages,’ a business directory of local African-American- and Hispanic-owned businesses. This effort—Davila hopes—will provide much needed economic growth and development for local small businesses.
In closing, Davila cited the book “The Crayon Box that Talked”, to further illustrate how unity and harmony are created through diversity. Citing an excerpt from the book, Davila concluded, “We are like a box of crayons. Each one of us unique. But when we get together, the picture is complete.”
To learn more about ‘The Hue Pages’, or how you can support minority-owned business in Galveston, email firstname.lastname@example.org.