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  • Megann Horstead

District U46 celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month, families

Elgin resident Margarita Brito knows that family means everything.

She said it's nice the way District U46's Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration aims to engage the community and strengthen families.

"It's to feel our culture and our heart, that's what it is," Brito said.

To cap off Elgin-area District U46's observance of Hispanic Heritage Month, a celebration was held Thursday at Ellis Middle School in Elgin.

The event featured dance group presentations, music and food.

Ellis Middle School Principal Perry Hayes said holding the event in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month brings great meaning.

"I thought tonight by having our own kids perform, having the dance troupe come in and having the kids enjoy that with their parents, I think that really meant a lot to everybody," he said.

Hispanic Heritage Month festivities celebrate the histories, cultures and contributions of the world's Latin countries.

"Today, we celebrate this festivity here at Ellis Middle School to highlight the culture of our students here at Ellis, our Eagles," Assistant Principal Bertha Torres said.

Brito was watching as her daughter performed as a member of the Mexican Ballet Folklorico Huehuecoyolt. She said it means a lot to see her daughter learning and carrying out the traditions she grew up knowing.

"She can be doing something else, but she loves so much to do our culture that I enjoy," Brito said. "I see her face. They're so happy doing it and learning so many ways to represent their culture."

Margarita's husband, Noberto Brito, agreed.

"I like (it) because this is our tradition," he said. "I like it because even my children, they (were) born here, but they learn everything for us."

Noberto said preserving ties to their Hispanic heritage is important to both he and his family.

"For them, everything is like new, but I know one thing: They like it, so we don't lose (any of our heritage)," he said.

Margarita Brito said the biggest takeaway she's had from celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month comes down to one idea: to strengthen familial bonds.

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