Bears celebrate Latino Heritage Month at Soldier Field
Story by Gabby Hajduk, photos by Jacob Funk
ChicagoBears.com highlights the team's efforts around Sunday's Latino Heritage Month-themed game against the Broncos brought you by PNC at Soldier Field.
Since the start of Latino Heritage Month Sept. 15, the Bears have honored the culture and its history while spotlighting those who are a part of both the Bears and Latino communities. Those organization-wide efforts culminated in a day-long celebration of Latino Heritage at Soldier Field Sunday for the Bears-Broncos Week 4 matchup.
Before fans even headed into Soldier Field Sunday, they could watch Latin rock band Sin Anestesia perform outside in the Vizzy Fan Zone to kick off the day's festivities.
Chicago's first all-women Mariachi group, Mariachi Sirenas, performed at the Miller Lite Ultimate Tailgate, marking the second consecutive year they participated in the Bears' Latino Heritage Month celebration.
As fans walked into the stadium and made their way around, Latino Heritage Month messaging could be found throughout every corner of Soldier Field, including on the concourse, in the stands and on the field.
Prominent Bears figures like former offensive lineman Roberto Garza and team reporter Lauren Screeden repped the Latino Heritage Month merchandise during Sunday's game.
Garza, a member of the Latin American International Sports Hall of Fame, also spent time signing autographs and taking pictures with fans before the game kicked off.
Along with traditional Latin music being played throughout Soldier Field Sunday, Univision's DJ Jr Lopez kept fans entertained at the Dr Pepper Patio.
During pregame warmups, Bears President & CEO Kevin Warren met with the two recipients of the 2023 Latino Heritage Youth Leader Award: Kyle Ramirez from Maine West High School and Yeniah Matos Delgado from Morton East High School.
The award acknowledges Latino boys football and girls flag football players who excel in academics and sports, actively engage in community service, advocate for the Latino community, demonstrate leadership abilities, uphold exemplary character and exhibit resilience.
Kyle and Yeniah also represented the Bears as honorary captains alongside Garza. The pair of students walked onto the field with Garza and quarterback Justin Fields to participate in the coin toss.
Kyle and Yeniah were interviewed by Omar Ramos and Miguel Esparza of the team's Spanish-language radio broadcast on Latino Mix 93.5 FM.
As each NFL club recognizes a male and female recipient of the award, the full list of honorees will be recognized by the league and the Hispanic Heritage Foundation. Eight finalists will receive scholarship money for college and will be celebrated at the 2024 Pro Bowl or Super Bowl LVIII.
The Bears Monster Squad commenced player introductions by running out of the tunnel with Latin-inspired team flags.
Performing the national anthem was Mexican American Jesus Ramos, a Pilsen native who is active in the Mariachi music scene.
Evolución Latina Dance Company, a world class Chicago-based educational organization, performed a seven-minute halftime show that featured traditional dances from South America, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.
The dance company is led by Jose Serrano, a World Latin Dance Champion and former principal dancer with the Columbia City Ballet.
As Garza's final ode to the Bears' Latino Heritage Month celebration, he participated in the Miller Lite Cheers of the Game segment with Screeden and answered the questions in Spanish.
Fans came to Soldier Field Sunday afternoon excited to celebrate their Latin heritage with the Bears.
Throughout the day, fans were able to use a Chicago Bears Official App brought to you by Verizon-exclusive photo keepsake experience to take pictures and add Latino Heritage Month themed stickers before sharing with friends and family or on social media.
Several pieces of Bears branded Latino Heritage Month merchandise were also on sale at the Bears Pro Shop. The special collection is still available for fans to purchase online.