May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month – a celebration of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States. Here at Project Access, we salute our Asian and Pacific Islander families. As with all cultures and backgrounds represented by Project Access, our Asian and Pacific Islander Residents contribute mightily to the diversity of our communities and lend their special traditions, art, cuisine and culture to the benefit of us all.

According to the website for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month: “A rather broad term, Asian/Pacific encompasses all of the Asian continent and the Pacific islands of Melanesia (New Guinea, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji and the Solomon Islands), Micronesia (Marianas, Guam, Wake Island, Palau, Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Nauru and the Federated States of Micronesia) and Polynesia (New Zealand, Hawaiian Islands, Rotuma, Midway Islands, Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Cook Islands, French Polynesia and Easter Island).”

The website also cites that the month of May was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the great achievement of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. The majority of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants.

To all of our Asian Pacific Residents we salute you and thank you for what you bring to our Project Access communities and to our country. Below are a few of the faces that make us smile throughout this special month and throughout the year.