HHM activities have been classified as “non-essential” and Washington has issued guidelines on toning down loud festivities and colorful displays as the U.S. Treasury runs out of funding.
As of midnight, October 15, all functions relating to Hispanic Heritage Month ceased, according to Felix Zaragosa of the General Services Administration.
“More than 2,900 Federal Mariachi Administration inspectors were initially furloughed, putting an end to inspections of mariachi uniforms and instruments. The FMA asked 800 employees to return to work last week,” he said.
Banquets honoring Hispanic employees at various giant corporations, however, have sufficient alternative funds to run until Thursday, and possibly Friday.
From then on, the Federal Government will shut down all non-essential nacho and sangria receptions. Court-appointed folklorico dancers could be asked to work, but might not be compensated until the shutdown ends.
Signs of a breakthrough were few, though both houses of Congress voted to declare that Edward James Olmos’ face is a national landmark that must be kept open for hordes of visiting tourists.
An angry and agitated group of veterans protesting the canceled Ricky Martin concert at the White House were consoled by infuriated Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (R), who told the aging veterans, “It is a shame that this administration will use our Hispanic Heritage as a political hockey puck to be shot around the ice rink on a cold Toronto evening.”
Yolanda Gonzalez of Silver Springs, MD seemed angry and confused over the shutdown, saying, “I have waited all year to celebrate my Hispanic Heritage, but now the internal partisan bickering of the government is stopping me from learning about great Hispanic inventors, or the vast discography of Gloria Estefan. Both sides are to blame.”