Latino Association Promotes Cultural Diversity and Healthy Lifestyles

Cultural diversity. Scholarship awards. Toy drives. Career development workshops. Health promotion?

Since 1983, the San Diego County Latino Association (SDCLA) has organized events to benefit County employees and the overall community.

SDCLA will continue offering networking opportunities through mentoring, training, and other activities, but they’ll also take a step—literally—in a new direction: promoting physical activity, healthy eating and smoking cessation.

“We wanted to align ourselves with the County’s health initiative and our members will become health stewards and organize lectures, hikes and walks to improve people’s health,” said Claudia Sandoval, outgoing SDCLA president. “Lack of exercise, poor eating and smoking are critical things that affect our community. We will be seeking some of the messages of the County’s Live Well, San Diego! and bring them out to the community,” added Sandoval.

The new focus will be one of the highlights of SDCLA’s 2011 Hispanic Heritage Celebration, taking place Tuesday, October 11 from noon to 1:00 p.m. at the County Administration Center-Bayside Room 1. The event is free and open to all County employees.

The event will feature a Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) Art Exhibit featuring altars and displays provided by County libraries and SDCLA members.

“We are celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month and wanted to showcase Hispanic art,” concluded Sandoval, who also encouraged County employees of any race or ethnic background to become members of SDCLA. Applications are available at There is a cost of $15 for the annual membership.

Hispanic Heritage Month—established as a week in 1968 and expanded to a month in 1988—is observed across the United States every year from September 15 to October 15. The month is designated to celebrate the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.