During the annual White House Hispanic Heritage Month reception, President Obama celebrated Latino contributions to the United States, deeming the heritage one of the richest in the world.
“[The] United States is blessed to share so much of it,” he said. “Traditions, food, music, of course, from Colombia and Cuba, Dominican Republic, countries across Central America, South America — it’s woven into our daily lives.”
As POTUS prepares to leave office, he commended the Latino community for their indisputable progress throughout the past eight years. “We lifted our nation’s high school graduation rates to an all-time high,” he declared on Wednesday (Oct. 12). “More Hispanic students are graduating high school and more are going to college than ever before.”
Subtly referencing the 2016 presidential race, in which Republican nominee Donald Trump has threatened to build a wall to shut immigrants out of the U.S., Obama later dismissed the idea that Latinos are outsiders in a country they’ve helped shape.
“America still gives people hope, and we want to make sure that we fulfill the promise of this amazing country. You help us do it. And that’s why I want to once again say thank you for everything you’ve done for us.”
Check out the president’s full speech below, where he shows off a little bit of his Spanish-speaking skills: