Latinx Heritage Month

Local Restaurants and Fun Facts


Mi Empanada (Argentinian)
4034 Butler St, Pittsburgh, PA 15201

Casa Brasil (Brazilian)
5904 Bryant St, Pittsburgh, PA 15206

Chicken Latino (Peruvian)
2100 Broadway Ave., Beechview, PA 15216

Cilantro y ajo (Venezuelan) Pittsburgh, PA 15203

The Colombian Spot (Colombian) 2019 East Carson Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15203

La Palapa (Mexican) 2224 East Carson St., Pittsburgh, PA 15203

New Hope Coffee  (Nicaraguan coffee)

Con Alma (Latin American) 5884 Ellsworth Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15232

Café Tu y yo (Latin American) 3447 Harts Run Rd., Glenshaw, PA 15116 FB-Tu y yo cafe IG-Tu y yo cafe


Ten thousand Villages (Gifts and handcrafted products from Latin America) 5820Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15217

Reyna Foods (mini market) 2031 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Fun Facts About Latin American Countries


  • De la Plata River: It is the widest river in the world. It flows into the Atlantic Ocean. The most curious thing about this river is not its width, but everything that it shelters in its depths. Inside it hosts airplanes, boats and even hot air balloons. All of them come from very different times and very different events. There are even wrecked pirate ships, so the wealth that could be found is incalculable.
  • Iguazu Waterfalls: Natural border between Brazil and Argentina. The waterfalls represent a refuge for some animals that are in danger of extinction.
  • Argentina’s traditional dance is called Tango.
  • A dinosaur called Argentinosaurus lived in Argentina many millions of years ago. It was a herbivore with a length of 40 meters and a height of 18 meters. The dinosaur lived on the then-island continent of South America somewhere between 97 and 93.5 million years ago,[2] during the Late Cretaceous Period.


  • Llama, alpacas, vicuñas, and guanacos are all animals that are related to camels but live in the high plains of South America. The biggest one is the llama, and the smallest one is the vicuña.
  • The Titicaca Lake is the highest lake in the world than can be sailed by boat, and it is located between Peru and Bolivia. The Uros is an ancient people that live on the lake on floating islands made from rushes, a type of plant.
  • Beni Pink Dolphin: It really is pink! It lives in rivers, and is very friendly to humans
  • Pachamama: On August 1st, Bolivians celebrate the Day of the Pachamama, or Earth mother. They give thanks to the Earth for the food that it provides them.
  • Bolivia is the biggest producer of quinoa in the world.
  • Cal Orcko is a location found near a cement factory that has the largest amount of dinosaur footprints in the world, more than 10 thousand ones from more than 15 different dinosaurs. Dinosaurs really liked to walk around Bolivia!
  • There are no McDonald’s in Bolivia. They had some for a while but didn’t like their food, so they had to leave. People prefer local food.


  • Chile is the longest and narrowest country in the world.
  • There are more than 1300 volcanoes in Chile.
  • Empanadas are a traditional food in many South American countries, including Argentina, Chile and Bolivia. It is composed of dough filled with meat and other foodstuffs depending on the country. It is baked and usually served hot.
  • Even though potatoes are grown in many countries, they were initially found in an island in the south of Chile called Chiloe. There are more than 211 types of potatoes now.
  • Atacama Desert: the driest desert in the world, it is the closest place to Mars on Earth. NASA tested out their rovers here before sending them to Mars.
  • Easter Island: home of the legendary Moais, this island is part of Chile.


  • Its name comes from the explorer Christopher Columbus (“Cristobal Colon” in Spanish).
  • Arepas are a traditional food from Colombia and Venezuela. They are made from corn and filled with many different things, such as chicken, egg, meat, and beans.
  • The big-butted ants (hormigas culonas) are considered a delicious dish in Colombia. They are very expensive, $40 for a pound of ants.  They live in the northern parts of Colombia. Chefs make pizzas and meat sauce out of them. They taste like nuts, salty, and the texture is similar to eating popcorn (crunchy).
  • There are more than 1900 different types of birds in Colombia, which is a world record. Colombia is the country with the biggest number of hummingbirds in the world. The swordbeak hummingbird (colibri picoespada) is the only hummingbird that has a beak longer than its body. They live in high places near mountains, so they can be found in the city of Bogota.
  • Emeralds are green gems that are used for jewels. Colombia is the main world producer of emeralds; around 95% of the world’s emeralds come from Colombia. There are more than 150 emerald mines in the country. 
  • Colombia has around 3500 types of butterflies, being one of the countries in the world with the most variety of butterflies.
  • • Golden frog (ranita dorada), it is the most poisonous vertebrate in the world. If you touch it, you will most likely die. Its scientific name is phyllobates terribilis, as in “terrible”.
  • The popular singer Shakira was born in Colombia.


  • Cuba is the most populated country in the Caribbean.
  • Often referred to as “el cocodrilo” (the crocodile) because of its shape.
  • Cuban people love salsa dancing! Salsa is a mix of native, European, and African musical influence.
  • The smallest bird in the world lives here – The bee hummingbird. It only reaches two inches in length in adulthood.
  • They have a huge diversity of fruits: tropical fruits like mango, papaya, guava, chirimoya, coconut and pineapples. Experts recommend guava (guayaba) for daily consumption because of its health benefits. It is only found in Central America and it is characterized by high levels of vitamin C.
  • The cotton or linen shirt, known as Guayabera or Guayavera, consisting of an often white, pleated shirt with its iconic four pockets seems to be European in its origin –specifically Spanish– but in the New World it developed its typical shape. A legend even tells the shirt was designed in order to keep, in its pockets, as many guava fruits as possible.
  • There are more than 250 beaches in Cuba. 
  • When Columbus landed in Cuba he said it was the most beautiful land human eyes have ever seen. He named Cuba the “pearl of the Caribbean”


  • Did you know? Ecuador is the only country named after a geographic feature. Yes, in Spanish Ecuador means equator. As in, the equator circling our planet. Ecuador is located then in the middle of the world, you can be standing here in both hemispheres at the same time.
  • Ecuador is the only country where a village was built on top of a volcano.
  • Ecuador’s official currency is the dollar.
  • The condor is the official bird of several South American countries, including Chile, Bolivia and Ecuador. The Andean condor is Ecuador’s national symbol, and the world’s second largest land bird, with a wingspan of 3 meters.
  • Galapagos Islands: 20 islands that are part of Ecuador. The Word “Galapago” comes from these islands’ iconic turtles. The Galapagos is the only place in the northern hemisphere where you can see penguins in their natural habitat. This warm weather penguins only survive in Galapagos because of the cold waters currents (Humboldt and Cromwell) you find here.
  • The Galapagos Marine Iguana is the only lizard in the world with the ability to swim. These lizards enjoy water so much that they’ve learned how to swim in it and feed almost entirely on seaweed (algae).
  • The green sea turtle is an ancient species. In fact, researchers believe that these turtles swam the ocean and walked the beaches along with dinosaurs.
  • 30% of the bananas in the world come from Ecuador.


  • The Tikal pyramids were one of the most important cities of the Maya civilization. They were declared a World Heritage Site. Part of the original Star Wars movie was filmed there.
  • Mayan people used to pay with cocoa beans instead of coins. It is said that chocolate, made from cocoa, comes from Guatemala.
  • Guatemala’s national bird, the quetzal, is famous for its long tail.
  • It is known as ‘land of the eternal spring’ as it boasts a warm, tropical climate.


  • São Paulo is the largest city in the southern hemisphere.
  • Brazil has more animal and plant species than any other country in the world.
  • Portuguese is the official language in Brazil. In fact, Brazil is the only country in South America that speaks Portuguese.
  • The name Brazil comes from a tree named Brazilwood.
  • Brazil shares a border with all South American countries except for Chile and Ecuador.
  • Brazil covers 3 time zones.
  • The Amazon River flows through Brazil, it is the 2nd longest river in the world (after the Nile).
  • Around 60% of the Amazon Rainforest is located in Brazil.
  • Football (soccer) is the most popular sport in Brazil with the national team consistently among the best in the world, winning the World Cup a record 5 times.


  • The Rain of Fish of Yoro is an event that occurs every year in that city, in May or July. The sky turns dark and for 2 to 3 hours, a strong thunderstorm occurs. When it stops, the floor is filled with live fish. People celebrate by making yummy fish dishes!
  • The Macaw is Honduras’ national bird. It is very friendly and good at repeating words. The Mayas used to worship them!
  • Honduras is the second country in the world with the highest number of coral reefs, after Australia.
  • Children’s Day in September is a big holiday in Honduras. Kids build pinatas (and then break them for candy!).
  • The main music of Honduras is “Punta”, with other popular types including salsa, merengue, reggae, and reggaeton. Punta (or Tip) is called that way since it is danced on the tip of your toes.


  • Mexico City is the oldest city in the Americas, as it used to be the capital of the Aztec Empire, when it was called Tenochtitlan. It is built on top of a lake, Texcoco.
  • Chichen Itza is an ancient city where the Mayas lived for thousands of years.
  • The Mexican axolotl is a salamander that keeps its baby fin when it grows up, as well as gills that look like feathers on its head. Unlike other salamanders, it lives in the water all its life.
  • Frida Kahlo is a Mexican painter. She was also married to a painter, Diego Rivera. When she was 18, she was in an accident and had to lie in bed for months, which is where she learned to paint. She is mostly famous for her self-portraits.
  • Mexico is second city in the world with the most museums (London is number 1), with close to 150 museums, many of them free.
  • Alebrijes are brightly colored sculptures made in Mexico that show fantastic animals that combine parts of real ones. They can be seen in the movie Coco as the animal spirits that help around.
  • The tamal is a typical dish in Central America made with corn, beef, pepper, and other vegetables. Everything is wrapped in leaves, usually from corn plants. There are many variations.  Some are sweet and some are salty!
  • Mariachis is a type of music from Mexico. Mariachi bands use instruments like guitars, violins, and trumpets, and their songs are usually fun to dance and sing!
  • Chihuahuas are the smallest dogs in the world, and they get the name from the state of Chihuahua, were they come from. Xoloitzcuintli is the national dog, and it was very important to ancient Aztecs.


  • The bull shark is a specie of shark that can survive for an extended periods of time in freshwater.  
  • There are 70 protected regions of land and water in Nicaragua, which aid in saving many rare endangered species found in the country. These species Include various monkeys, sloths, jaguars, manatees, and sea turtles.
  • Ruben Dario, a Nicaraguan poet, wrote a poem to president Theodore Roosevelt.
  • There are no street names in Nicaragua. A person’s address is given by whatever major landmarks they live close to.


  • Llamas are intelligent and can learn simple tasks after a few repetitions. When using a pack, they can carry about 25 to 30% of their body weight for 8 to 13 km (5–8 miles).
  • The Amazon River starts in Peru, considered the second longest river in the world. 
  • The Titicaca Lake is the highest lake in the world than can be sailed by boat
  • Machu Picchu: One of the Seven Wonders of the World. Machu Picchu, the most representative and ancient city of Peru, was built in 1450. Machu Picchu is also known as the Lost City of the Incas. It is a city of stone built without the aid of wheels or iron tools. This is the best example of Inca engineering. More than 600 terraces prevent the city from sliding down the mountain. A water supply system extends over a length of about 1 km. No wheels were used to transport heavy rocks for the construction of the city. Structures were built with a technique called “ashlar.” Stones are cut to fit together without mortar. Remarkably, not even a needle can fit in between two stones. In the Quechua native language, “Machu Picchu” means “Old Peak” or “Old Mountain.” Many of the stones that were used to build the city weighed more than 50 tons. Some were chiseled from the granite bedrock of the mountain ridge. For others, hundreds of men pushed the heavy rocks up the steep mountain side. 


  • The Dominican Republic is the oldest country of the Americas, the first place reached by Christopher Columbus on December 5, 1492, during the first of his four voyages to Las Americas. He claimed the land for Spain and named it La Espanola.
  • Mondongo is a soup prepared in several Latin American countries. In each country it is slightly different, but in all of them the main ingredient is cow stomach.
  • The merengue is a musical style create in the Dominican Republic at the end of the XIX century. It is very popular in all of Latin American, where it is considered, along with salsa, as one of the greatest danceable musical genres.
  • The most popular sport in the Dominican Republic is baseball. The Pittsburgh Pirates have 7 players that come from this country.


  • The Theraphosa blondi is one of the largest types of spiders in the planet, and it is found in Venezuela. It can measure up to 30 cm. It eats mostly insects, and does not attack people.
  • The anaconda serpent, famous from movies and terror stories, is the largest poisonous snake in the world, and it is native to Venezuela.
  • Venezuela has the highest waterfall in the world, called the Salto Angel. Measuring 3212 feet in height, it is around 15 times higher than the Niagara Falls. It is feature in the Disney movie Up.
  • Venezuela has an ice cream shop that is famous for the amount of different ice cream flavors it has. In total it has more than 870 flavors, including McDonald’s hamburger, Doritos, chicken and onion.

Other Fun Facts:

  • Why does Hispanic Heritage Month start on 15 September? September 15 was chosen as the starting point for the commemoration because it is the anniversary of independence of five Hispanic countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, who all declared independence in 1821. In addition, Mexico, Chile and Belize celebrate their independence days on September 16, September 18, and September 21 respectively.
  • Which country in Central America is not Spanish speaking? Belize
  • How many countries make up Central America? 7. El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Belize, Panama, Costa Rica 
  • Which countries in South America are landlocked? Bolivia and Paraguay 
  • Which country has won the most World Cup soccer tournaments? .Brazil (5 wins)
  • Which country is soccer star Lionel Messi from? Argentina
  • Where was Simon Bolivar, known for his role in helping liberate the Americas, from? Venezuela
  • What was the capital of the Incan Empire? Cusco 

Kindergarten Information


Registration for children who will enter kindergarten in the fall of 2021 is scheduled in the Fox Chapel Area School District for March. The district also offers various pre-registration events (including parent/guardian orientations and 2021-2022 kindergarten story times) that are held beginning in early February.  

All registration forms will be filled out online. Starting on February 3, parents/guardians can go to to begin the registration process. Once the online forms are complete, parents/guardians will attend the school’s registration day, at a specific time, with their supporting documents. O’Hara’s orientation meeting to acquaint parents/guardians with the kindergarten program and registration process February 3 and will be held virtually. Parents/guardians should visit prior to the virtual orientations for links to join the virtual meetings.

Children must be five years of age on or before September 1 to be admitted to kindergarten in the 2021-2022 school year. A certificate of birth date, immunization records, two proofs of residency, and a photo ID must be presented for registration. A child will not be officially registered in the school until all of these items are presented.

According to Pennsylvania Department of Health regulations, children must be immunized with the following before being admitted to kindergarten:

    •4 doses of tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis (Usually given as DTaP or DTP or DT or Td) (1 dose on or after fourth birthday);

    •4 doses of polio (fourth dose on or after fourth birthday and at least 6 months after previous dose given);

    •2 doses of measles, mumps, and rubella (usually given as MMR) on or after the child’s first birthday;

    •3 doses of hepatitis B; and

    •2 doses of varicella (chicken pox) (on or after the child’s first birthday) or evidence of immunity through a written statement from a physician indicating month and year of disease or serologic proof of immunity.

Persons having medical (must have a note from doctor) or religious objections to these immunizations should contact the school nurse. 

Additionally, Allegheny County requires blood lead level screening* for students prior to entry into kindergarten. Children shall receive a lead screening test in accordance with the following schedule:

    •Each child shall be screened between 9 months to 12 months of age and again at 24 months of age.

    •All children designated as high risk, as determined by a health care practitioner and based on the child’s exposure to lead and any other factors indicating high risk, shall be screened annually from 12 months of age to 72 months of age.

*Lead screening information is subject to change.

The schedule for new kindergarten virtual parent orientation meetings and in-person kindergarten registration is below, and parents can receive information on the virtual events by visiting

O’Hara Elementary School

Parent Orientation Meeting:  February 3 – Virtually – 6-7 p.m. 

Registration:  March 2 – O’Hara Elementary School – 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Parents/guardians will choose a specific registration time once they complete the online registration.

Incoming kindergarten families are also encouraged to sign up for the virtual story times hosted by O’Hara Elementary. To sign up and to learn more about programs for incoming kindergartners, visit


Last Name Beginning with A-K:

2/8/2021 FROM 2:15-3:15 P.M. 

3/15/2021 FROM 2:15-3:15 P.M. 

4/12/2021 FROM 2:15-3:15 P.M.

Last Name Beginning with L-Z:

2/9/2021 FROM 2:15-3:15 P.M.

3/16/2021 FROM 2:15-3:15 P.M.

4/13/2021 FROM 2:15-3:15 P.M.




The school is located at 115 Cabin Lane in O’Hara Township. The phone number is 412/963-0333.

**Additionally, districtwide registration sessions for ALL elementary schools will be held in March for those unable to attend the individual school registration dates/times. Registration for all incoming kindergartners will be held March 1 from 4-6 p.m. at O’Hara Elementary School and March 2 from 4-6 p.m. at Kerr Elementary School.

Celebrate Reading this Week at O’Hara!

This week America commemorates the birthday of one of our most beloved children’s authors, Dr. Seuss! Like countless schools across the nation, O’Hara Elementary will honor Dr. Seuss’ legacy by celebrating Read Across America–a nationwide reading motivation and awareness program that calls for every child in every community to celebrate reading!

There are a couple of ways that O’Hara PTO is celebrating this week!

Scholastic Book Fair

1. Our annual Scholastic Book Fair will be held from Monday, February 25th through Friday March 1st in the O’Hara School Library. Students will have an allotted time during the school day to visit the Book Fair and buy books and other items. You are definitely welcome to join your child to shop in the Library during this time!

Items can be paid for with cash, credit card, check (made out to OEPTO), or a NEW e-wallet option, where you can electronically set aside funds for your child to use. Visit for more information about this option. You can even purchase books online here!  All proceeds will benefit the O’Hara Elementary library!

Can’t make it to school during your child’s book fair slot? No worries!  You can send your child to school with cash or a signed check made out to “OEPTO” in an envelope, or use the e-wallet option mentioned above. Please include a note indicating any limit on purchases or a list of acceptable purchases. Please note: the average book cost is between $5 to $10 with 7% sales tax.

Want to support your child’s teacher? Great! You can donate books from a classroom book collection “wishlist” for each teacher.

All students will also receive one raffle ticket good for a chance to win an age-appropriate basket of books.

2. The O’Hara PTO will also be holding a Read Across America celebration during special EVENING Book Fair hours on Tuesday, February 26th from 6-8 pm. And this event will be so much MORE than just an opportunity to shop! We have also planned several Read Across America activities including a tattoo artist, a Dr. Seuss-related craft, collaborative story-writing and two mystery readers! No RSVP is necessary, you DO NOT need clearances to attend this free family event. Students who come to the evening book fair and Read Across America celebration get 2 additional raffle tickets!

We hope to see you there!



Student Voices Needed – Recess Items

Hello O’Hara families! We hope your summer is going well!!!  While it’s hard to think about indoor recess days when the sun is shining and our kiddos are living outdoors, the PTO is getting ready for rainy days ahead.  Please ask your students what they would like to see in the indoor recess bins. What were their favorite items last year??

While you’re at it – ask what we need more of for OUTDOOR recess (where we hope to be a much as possible throughout the year)!  We’re gearing up for a great year ahead. Comment below, please! 


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PTO Meeting Tomorrow!

The PTO invites all interested O’Hara parents, teachers and staff to join us tomorrow (11/17) from 9:15 – 10:15am in the O’Hara Auditorium for our monthly meeting.

Topics on the agenda for the meeting include:

  • O’Hara Administration Update (Mrs. Batis and Mr. Edwards)
  • PTO Board Update
    • Treasurer Report
    • By Laws Vote
  • District Forum Report from 11/14 Meeting
  • Committee Updates

Have a topic you’d like addressed at a future PTO meeting?  Contact the PTO Board!

morning ptp.png

Agenda for October’s EVENING Meeting

The PTO invites all interested O’Hara parents, teachers and staff to join us tomorrow (10/24) from 6 – 7pm in the O’Hara Auditorium for our monthly meeting. This is the first of two evening meetings planned for 2017 (the next will be 12/19 – mark your calendar!).

Topics on the agenda for the 10/24 meeting include:

  • O’Hara Administration Update (Mrs. Batis and Mr. Edwards)
  • PTO Board Update
    • Evening Meeting Trial (Dana Rofey)
    • Fundraising – (Faith Moser)
      • Save the Date: Chipotle Fundraiser 11/15, 4pm – 8pm
    • Treasurer Report – (Kristina Adams)
    • 5th Grade Day Chairs (Carrie Work)
    • Update on Online Volunteer Recruitment (Sarah Shaffer)
    • Voting on Changes to By Laws (Sarah Shaffer)
  • Committee Updates
    • Indoor Recess (Dana Rofey / Missy Troutman)
    • Square 1 Art (Elizabeth Carter)
    • Thanksgiving Baskets (Meg Helsel / Becca Tobe)

Have a topic you’d like addressed at a future PTO meeting?  Contact the PTO Board!