Field Museum celebrates Latinx culture, scholars, and scientists this Hispanic Heritage Month

CHICAGO (CBS) -- We're celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month at CBS 2, and so is the Field Museum of Natural History.

Through Oct. 15, the museum is recognizing Hispanic and Latin culture through a variety of programs. Field Museum annual fund and membership director Vicky Sanchez joined CBS 2's Ryan Baker and Dana Kozlov Wednesday morning to talk about the importance of celebrating Latinx scholars and scientists and their contribution to the overall culture.

"We will have different performances, different discussions – we will have something for everybody in the family," Sanchez said.

This coming Saturday, the local organization La Escuelita Bombera de Corazón – representing Puerto Rico – will offer a live music and dance performance. Based in the Humboldt Park Puerto Rican community, La Escuelita Bombera de Corazón was founded in 2009 by Ivelisse "Bombera de Corazón" as an African and Puerto Rican diasporic performing arts school – dedicated to the preservation of Bomba music and dance.

On Saturday, Oct. 7, Gingarte Capoeira Chicago will present a performance of the martial art capoeira, which combines fight, dance, acrobatics, rhythm, music, and philosophy.

On Saturday, Oct. 14, Ballet Folklorico de Chicago will put on a celebration of Mexican culture and traditions.

Indigenous People's Day also falls in the middle of the month on Oct. 9. For that occasion, the museum will host Comunidad Kichwa Runa, representing Ecuador, and Danza Azteca, representing Mexico,, Sanchez said.

"We have different discussions that will be happening here as well," Sanchez said. "On September 27, we will have 'Bittersweet Treasures,' discussing cacao and coffee, with Dr. Fabiany Herrera and Dr. Noé U. de la Sancha."

Herrera is the assistant curator of paleobotany for the Field Museum, while de la Sancha is a research associate. They will discuss the paleobiological origins of cacao and coffee and trace their evolution through history, culture, and ecology. They will also discuss the impact these commodities have on ecosystems.

On Oct. 11, Dr. Myrna García of Northwestern University will present the talk, "Son Fronteras Politics: Contending with INS Terror in Chicago," which focuses on the Chicago chapter of the immigrant rights group Center for Autonomous Social Action.

On the museum's free days on Tuesdays, Laura Rodriguez-Romaní, founder of Los Amigos Books, will present a bilingual story time.

"You can bring your children to our (Crown Family) Playlab and enjoy some different stories and learn about Latinx culture that way," Sanchez said.

Meanwhile at the Grainger Science Hub, visitors can meet museum scientists – who will discover their work and share items from the museum's collection. On Friday, postdoctoral researcher Mariana Herrera will discuss the ecological importance of fungi using specimens from Latin America. On Tuesday of next week, senior environmental social scientist Paula Ungar will talk about the work being done with Indigenous and local communities in the Amazon Basin. On Oct. 3, Andes-Amazon team operations coordinator Paúl Sambrano will discuss w hat it takes to run a Field Museum Rapid Inventory – with maps, field guides, and reports to display the kind of work his team does in the Amazon.

Performances on other days are part of basic museum admission.

The Field Museum is located at 1400 S. DuSable Lake Shore Dr. on the Museum Campus. Hispanic Heritage Month runs through Oct. 15.

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