There was a festive atmosphere in Buffalo's Central Library Monday for the start of National Hispanic Heritage Month. Several local events are planned over the next 30 days to highlight the contributions of Hispanic Americans to Western New York and the United States.
Casimiro Rodriguez, president of the Hispanic Heritage Council says Hispanics have been a part of the local fabric since the late 1880s. Back then, Rodgriguez says Buffalo was thriving and Hispanics came for they same reason other immigrants did.
"They came looking for the American Dream. And they definitely found it."
The events calendar includes a Hispanic Heritage Film series at the downtown Central Library and the Niagara Branch Library.The Buffalo History Museum is opening a new exhibit highlighting the life and legacy of local Hispanics.
But Rodriguez says the main event is Friday with the Buffalo Philharmonic.
"Its title, 'Salsa Meets Symphony.' It's with a well-known local artist. It's a free event. And we invite the entire community to attend. It's at 7 p.m. on September 19 at Kleinhans Music Hall."
Rodriguez says the month-long celebration is important for local Hispanics.
"These cadre of events that we have throughout the entire month pretty much connects us with the larger community," he said.
"So, that they too can enjoy our music, our food, our culture, and attend some of the events and enjoy it. So that we can sort of appreciate each other a little bit more."