Grand Haven Hispanic Heritage Fiesta Next Week and more in the E-Newsletter for Sunday, September 20, 2020 – Available in full online here.Haga clic aquí para ver el mensaje de esta semana en español de nuestro misionero latino, Luis Valencia.
From the Rector
The Rev. Dr. Jared C. Cramer, SCP
Last year our parish led the first-ever Grand Haven Hispanic Heritage Fiesta.
It was a smashing success. Children and Youth Coordinator Reyna Masko and I served as co-chairs and we brought together a leadership team of volunteers from all over our community. We threw a block party at the end of September (Hispanic Heritage Month) that featured live music, dancing, food trucks, merchants, and so much more. Thousands of people came to Grand Haven's central park to celebrate. Together, we also raised nearly $5,000 for the Migrant Resource Council, the single largest donation they have ever received and one that enabled them to provide enhanced services to area migrant workers this past year—a year when it was definitely needed, if ever.
The Fiesta even spawned a new idea in my and Reyna's imagination. We realized that celebrating Hispanic heritage and culture in our area should not just be a one year party, but that it needed a sustained and year-long effort. So, we have been at work founding a new 501c3 organization, "The Tri-Cities Puentes Initiative." Drawing our inspiration from the Spanish word for bridges (puentes), an image that is especially resonant in the Tri-Cities, our organization is focused on building bridges and cultural understanding through the celebration of the Hispanic and Latinx community in the Tri-Cities area.
And then the Coronavirus pandemic arrived. We thought of cancelling, putting everything on hold. But at our meeting early in the year to discuss that possibility, we agreed that there was an urgent and moral need to find ways to continue our work safely. The issues surrounding diversity in our area, along with the national and local conversations about how we value immigrants, made this work even more important.
So, we charged ahead and came up with a plan for a safe and socially distanced week of celebrating hispanic heritage and culture. There will be a Virtual Film Festival, opportunities to eat authentic cuisine from a variety of Hispanic and Latin American countries through Hispanic Restaurant Week, a special one-day offering of Food Trucks and Vendors, and even nightly opportunities to learn Latin American dances right at home through our Virtual Dance Party. You can visit the Fiesta website to find out more about these and other opportunities.
It all starts this Monday and I hope you'll take advantage of whatever of the opportunities for celebration fit in with your own interests and current way of living in this pandemic.
In the end, half of all the proceeds will be given to this year's Fiesta Funds Recipient, "Lighthouse Immigrant Advocates." Based on early numbers, we think that gift will surpass last year's grant, even though this year's fiesta is very different!
This will be a week to celebrate, to learn, and to demonstrate how much we truly do value the Hispanic people and culture that make Grand Haven a great place to live!
Read more in the E-Newsletter for Sunday, September 20, 2020 online here.
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