Girl Scouts – North Carolina Coastal Pines is excited to celebrate Hispanic and Latino American culture during National Hispanic Heritage Month which is recognized annually beginning September 15 through October 15.
To help kick off the month’s festivities, Girl Scouts participated in UNIVISION’s UniRumba! festival which celebrates the independence of Mexico and other Central American countries. As part of the event, local Girl Scouts participated in the flag ceremony for the event’s official ‘El Grito de la Independencia’ (formal announcement of independence) alongside Consul Cinthya Prida on Sunday, September 13, at Durham County Stadium Park.
“For more than 100 years, Girl Scouts has been inclusive of all girls leading the way in encouraging diversity in our organization and across our country," said Lisa Jones, chief executive officer at Girl Scouts – North Carolina Coastal Pines. “Participating in National Hispanic Heritage Month provides opportunities for girls to boost their awareness through cross-cultural learning opportunities and to strengthen their appreciation of differences in others.”
Launched last year and available year-round, Girl Scouts of all ages and cultures can earn a Discover Hispanic Heritage patch by participating in activities such as touring the Latin American Embassy or becoming pen pals with Girl Scouts or Girl Guides living in a Latino country. This special patch is part of the Council’s Patch of the Month program designed to help Girl Scouts explore a wide variety of topics including culture, arts, science, history and health.
Leading the organization since 2011 is Anna Maria Chávez, the first Latina Chief Executive Officer of Girl Scouts of the USA. Anna began her career journey in the very same Movement she now leads. A lifetime member of Girl Scouts of the USA and an award-winning community leader, Anna developed the leadership skills growing up as a Girl Scout in Eloy, Arizona, that would propel her to the office of the chief executive.
“The Girl Scout Movement was conceived as ‘something for the girls of America and all the world’ by our founder, Juliette Gordon Low. Decades ahead of her time, she imagined an organization dedicated to welcoming, empowering and encouraging all girls, regardless of race, color, national origin or creed,” said Chavez. “The Girl Scouts of the USA will continue to serve as a force for equality and diversity, as we develop strong female leaders who will make our world a better, more united and more inclusive place.”
More than 59 million American women enjoyed Girl Scouting during their childhood – and that number is growing as Girl Scouts continues to inspire, challenge, and empower girls everywhere. Currently, more than 270,000 Hispanic girls – nearly six percent of the national total – are members of Girl Scouts.