USS Harry S. Truman, At Sea (NNS) -- Sailors and Marines aboard USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) held a Hispanic Heritage Month celebration Sept. 24 while the ship is deployed.
The celebration included a pinata-breaking ceremony and a special meal of chicken enchiladas, hot tamales, nachos, tacos, and Texas tortilla soup to represent Truman's Hispanic culture.
Truman's culinary specialists cooked with the help of several Hispanic Sailors and Marines, who served the crew foods from their Mexican, Puerto Rican, Dominican and Columbian cultures.
"We had a really great time preparing and serving the food," said Aviation Maintenance Administrationman 1st Class (AW) Nora Bard. "We played Latin music to get motivated, and even though some people couldn't understand the words, everybody was dancing and having a good time. I felt like I was doing something really good for the crew."
Non-Hispanic crew members also volunteered to help prepare and serve the meal to connect on a cultural level with their Hispanic shipmates.
"People tend to learn a lot during Truman's different heritage meals," said Chief Warrant Officer Andrew Davenport, USS Truman Heritage Cultural Committee (HCC) head. "The personnel cooking the meals remember things from their childhoods - like their families' cooking methods or the different spices they used - and they share those things with the people around them. When we saw non-Hispanic Sailors helping out in the galley, it showed that our committee is really reaching out to the crew. I think everybody got a lot out of it."
Truman's crew also celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month through the art of dance. Eight Hispanic Sailors participated in Salsa, Merengue, Bachata and Cumbia dances, which were aired on (Shipboard Information Training and Entertainment) SITE TV for the rest of the crew to enjoy.
"Filming the dances was a lot of fun," said Aviation Boatswain's Mate Airman Iris Villalobos, Merengue dance participant. "It was nice to share my culture with the rest of the ship. A lot of people come up to me and tell me they love the dances and want to learn."
Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. HCC plans to host another celebration in Truman's forecastle Oct. 8, which will feature more dancing and guest speakers to share their Hispanic backgrounds and traditions with the crew.
Bard and Villalobos said they are proud to be stationed on board a ship that celebrates the diversities of its crew members.
"We have people from all kinds of cultures on board Truman," said Davenport. "Since we celebrate 11 heritages every year, we have a lot of cultural experts to show the crew what their cultures mean to them. They always represent their heritage with great pride."
For more news from USS Harry S. Truman, visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn75/.