YWCA Honors Hispanic Heritage Month With Block Party
The area’s Latino community took center stage this weekend with the YWCA’s Hispanic Heritage Celebration Block Party.
The event took place on Fourth Street between North Main and Washington streets with a variety of Hispanic-centric music, food, artwork, dancing and social service agencies and organizations in support.
Hundreds attended the three-hour event.
“There’s live music, good food, people dancing and learning about the Latino culture,” said Max Martin, Hispanic Community Council president and local Hispanic advocate. “This is great, we have a street party, that’s what Latinos like. But we don’t just want to have Latinos attend, we want to share our culture. We’re your neighbors, co-workers and friends. One of the best ways to learn about any culture in the world is by their food, music and art.”
Christopher Ladal, a machist from Erie, attended the event.
“I can’t believe how good this food is, and to see the variety of different cultures all mixing and enjoying not only the food and music, but each other is great, just great,” Ladal said. “And to think we came to visit the museums here, and just happened to be walking by, heard the music, so we (wife) stopped by. I’m glad we did.”
Music was provided by Synergy Entertainment and singer Sabrina Gustafson. Food vendors included 3Cs Catering, El Rincon Criollo from Dunkirk and St. Luke’s Colombian Food. Volunteers from the YWCA Jamestown’s Book M.A.R.K. program read a bilingual story and had activities available for children. There was also a Shakespearean performance by the Madness Most Discreet Theatre Co. from Jamestown.
“With our mission of … eliminating racism and empowering women this was a natural fit,” said Amanda Gesing, executive director of the YWCA of Jamestown. “What better way to have people communicate and learn about each other than over food, music and activities for their children — a community party.”
“Education and culture awareness is a key component to eliminating racism,” said Indo Quinones, YWCA mission impact director. “If you look out the window you can see, people are learning about the Latino culture, they’re all smiling and enjoying themselves and enjoying each other.”