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  • Writer's pictureThe Hammonton Gazette

Hispanic immigrant experience subject of Sept. 7 HSH Speaker Series

courtesy photo

The Historical Society of Hammonton (HSH)’s 2023-24 Speaker Series honors the upcoming Hispanic Heritage Month with the first speakers of the season this Thursday, Sept. 7 at 7 p.m. at the Canoe Club, Hammonton Lake Park. Admission is free, and everyone is welcome to attend. No HSH membership required.

The featured speakers are Andrea Flores Mendoza, published poet and local entrepreneur, and her husband, Jim Bacon, Vice President of Business Management Specialist with TD Bank. They will share their history, culture and traditions from their native countries—Honduras and Peru.

Mendoza and Bacon live in Hammonton with their two children, and they’ll share their experiences arriving and living in Hammonton from a Hispanic immigrant perspective. They each experienced a different path on their journey to Hammonton, and how they got involved in the community. Mendoza will share the process of moving to Hammonton from Edison, her fears, dreams and how she found in writing a way to connect with the community. She is very thankful for the way Hammonton supports the arts, and the many volunteer opportunities in town. She has volunteered and even picked blueberries in order to connect with people, learn about them, and then be able to write those stories; all while running her small business. One of her poems is featured on the Art Walk in the Downtown. She loves Hammonton because it brings back memories from her hometown in Honduras.

Bacon arrived in Hammonton in 2001 from Peru and graduated from Hammonton High School in 2004. He attended college, got into the corporate workplace in the financial industry.

Today, Bacon works at TD Bank as a workforce management specialist and leads the Latinos In Leadership Business Resource Group in NJ/PA. He has been on the Hammonton Revitalization Corporation Board (MainStreet Hammonton) for over three years, where he aims to represent and serve as a connection with the Hispanic community. He is also a writer and has published a Spanish poetry book. Bacon continues to be an advocate to improve Hammonton and promote the town as a great place to live, work and visit.

Both will speak on the eve of Hispanic Heritage Month which runs from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15 and is celebrated in a variety of ways in Hammonton. From Hammonton Health Coalition’s kick off event on Friday, Sept. 15, to the Downtown Hammonton Third Thursday Fiesta Sept. 21, to the Puerto Rican Civic Association’s 64th anniversary celebration running through this weekend.

The Historical Society of Hammonton Museum preserves the rich social, political, economic and multicultural heritage of our town and its people. Their mission is to increase awareness of Hammonton’s history, and to establish public access to that history by collecting, conserving, interpreting, and promoting it to the widest possible audience. The historic 1887 (former Town Hall/Library/Kindergarten) Museum, a treasure itself, is located behind Hammonton Veterans Memorial Park, open Tuesdays 10 a.m. to noon, and every Saturday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Volunteers are always welcome!

Upcoming HSH Speaker Series events for 2023 include: Oct. 5: “Hammonton Lake Water Quality” – Dan Bachalis; Oct. 22: “Early Schools in Atlantic County” – Atlantic County Historical Society Roundtable Presentation; Nov. 2: “The Littlefield Family” – Bill Parkhurst


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