Skip to content

Las Americas Newcomer Thanksgiving About More Than Turkey and Trimmings

2013 November 25
by HISD Communications

Holidays bring out the best in our extended HISD family, with the warmth and generosity we see every day bubbling over this time of year. Thanksgiving is a unique part of our history and cultural traditions, and I was touched last week by how one celebration in HISD especially reflected the holiday’s historic spirit of sharing, gratitude and inclusion.

Las Americas Newcomer School is an HISD middle school in southwest Houston that reminds us that our city — and district — are a gateway for immigrants. Its families – some of them political refugees — come from 32 different countries. For many, this is their first chance to learn English or experience the gift of a formal education that we know as a right. They practice a variety of religions and cultural traditions — but Thanksgiving has not been one of them – until now.

St. Luke’s United Methodist Church’s Gethsemane Campus, guided by the kind heart of Mireya Ottaviano, provided a traditional turkey feast with stuffing, cranberries and pumpkin pie for 130 students and their families from the HISD newcomer community at Las Americas. The gathering also served as a “Welcome to America” celebration, with welcome bags full of goodies for each guest.

[photoshelter-gallery g_id=’G0000Y5IRVlTEZQc’ g_name=’Las-Americas-Thanksgiving’ width=’600′ f_fullscreen=’t’ bgtrans=’t’ pho_credit=’iptc’ twoup=’f’ f_bbar=’t’ f_bbarbig=’f’ fsvis=’f’ f_show_caption=’t’ crop=’f’ f_enable_embed_btn=’t’ f_htmllinks=’t’ f_l=’t’ f_send_to_friend_btn=’f’ f_show_slidenum=’t’ f_topbar=’f’ f_show_watermark=’t’ img_title=’casc’ linkdest=’c’ trans=’xfade’ target=’_self’ tbs=’5000′ f_link=’t’ f_smooth=’f’ f_mtrx=’t’ f_ap=’t’ f_up=’f’ height=’400′ btype=’old’ bcolor=’#CCCCCC’ ]

The celebration was more than just a shared feast to broaden their palates. It was a reminder for all of us of the historic reasons for that first Thanksgiving and the opportunity to see our blessings through the fresh vision of others who have known hunger and oppression.

My wish is for each of you to enjoy the warmth and traditions of Thanksgiving. One of the many blessings I hope you’ll consider is the diversity of our HISD family, the breadth of experiences and backgrounds that give us not only a broader understanding of the world but of ourselves, as well.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Comments are closed.