As performers danced to and performed music from quite a few Latin American cultures throughout a Hispanic Heritage Competition on Saturday, many individuals have been drawn to the tables underneath a big tent. There, as they escaped the rain, they discovered Damaris Ponciano-Jackson and her college students serving to folks craft piñatas, pinwheels and flashlights.
Ponciano-Jackson is the director of the Éxito STEAM Summer season Program at Centro Hispano de Frederick, which hosted Saturday’s competition. The Éxito program consists of classes in STEM, arts, English and Spanish language, and normal life expertise.
As guests to her tent completed their crafts, Ponciano-Jackson inspired them to embellish their creations with Hispanic patterns and colours. She stated together with Hispanic designs was not solely essential for the competition, but additionally exemplified a central theme of the Éxito program: satisfaction in Hispanic cultures.
“It exhibits our youngsters that being a Hispanic is highly effective,” Ponciano-Jackson stated in an interview with the Information-Submit.
Centro Hispano de Frederick held its second annual Hispanic Heritage Competition on the Carroll Creek Amphitheater and alongside the creek’s linear park Saturday.
The competition occurred throughout Nationwide Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs Sept. 15 to Oct. 15.
The competition included the kids’s tent, native meals vehicles, and performances from dancers and singers showcasing Bolivian, Mexican, Honduran, Colombian, Peruvian, Venezuelan and Spanish cultures.
Maria-Teresa Shuck, the director of Centro Hispano de Frederick, stated the competition was not solely an opportunity for folks to have a good time their Hispanic heritage, but additionally for communities to share the variety of Latin America’s distinct cultures.
“We wished to share that with the group at giant,” Shuck stated.
Centro Hispano de Frederick, on Willowdale Drive, off U.S. 40, in Frederick, fashioned 16 years in the past to offer immigrants assets to assist them take part totally within the Frederick group.
For the primary time, Centro Hispano de Frederick had native sponsors for the competition. Shuck stated the primary Hispanic Heritage Competition was so successful that she determined this 12 months to contain different group organizations.
“We have been very, very stunned to see how accepting folks have been to the thought,” she stated.
Shuck stated the political local weather the previous few years and the way in which some politicians in Washington, D.C., and elsewhere have spoken about immigrant communities made it “type of scary to stay our necks out” and contain varied group teams within the competition. However, Shuck stated, the responses she obtained have been overwhelmingly optimistic.
“Frederick is completely prepared to just accept variety and revel in it,” she stated.
Aleena Hassen, 17, and Caroline Gregory, 16, are Frederick Excessive Faculty college students and members of the Spanish Honor Society. The pair went to the competition to hitch Ponciano-Jackson’s Éxito college students as they helped youngsters create crafts.
They made positive to soak up the competition’s performances and benefit from the array of eateries.
“I’ve eaten from each single one of many meals vehicles,” Hassen stated.
Sandra Molina, 35, attended the competition along with her 4-month-old little one and different members of her household.
Molina, whose mother is from Peru and pop hails from El Salvador, stated it is essential for folks to have alternatives to “showcase their tradition, in a way.”
“It is very nice to see it in my group, even when it is yearly,” Molina stated.
Molina and her household used to journey to D.C. and different locations exterior Frederick County to attend Hispanic festivals. She’s now attended each Hispanic Heritage Festivals and, as somebody who grew up within the county, stated its nice to see how the world has grown culturally.
Greater than 11% of the county’s inhabitants identifies as Hispanic or Latino, and 11% are international born, based on the 2020 U.S. Census.
Frederick County’s Hispanic and Latino inhabitants has elevated almost sixfold for the reason that flip of the century, based on USA Info, citing the U.S. Census Bureau.
Molina stated one more reason she attended Saturday’s competition was to assist her mom’s good friend, who carried out La Marinera, a Peruvian regional dance.
Molina’s mom met her good friend via the Entre Mujeres (Between Girls) program at Centro Hispano de Frederick. Her good friend, it seems, is the mom of a Peruvian nationwide champion La Marinera dancer.
Irrespective of the rain, Molina, her household and their pals have been stoked to have a good time and share their cultures on the competition.
“Hopefully, this was the second of many, many extra,” Molina stated.
Observe Jack Hogan on Twitter: @jckhogan