Hispanic celebration coming to Park

If you want to experience Latin America’s rich and diverse culture, get a taste of Latin food and dance to hot rhythms, you will not have to travel further than Flushing Meadows-Corona Park for the 6th annual, JuntaHispana festival.
In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, JuntaHispana, a multicultural organization dedicated to increasing awareness of Hispanic heritage, is hosting the cultural extravaganza on Sunday, September 23, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
“We are trying to create an event where you can bring family and spend an enjoyable day,” said Trish Diaz, Chief Executive Officer of JuntaHispana. “Adults and children can learn about the culture, get plenty of free samples [and] all in a safe environment.”
Travel agencies and consulates have been invited to represent the 20 Latin American countries. In addition, there will be booths at the event representing countries and will display, promote and sell hand-made crafts made by artisans.
Throughout the day, children and adults will have the opportunity to take part in fun and educational activities.
“Our primary focus of the event is pride and heritage of the Hispanic community and our secondary focus is education,” Diaz said.
The event is also expected to have live entertainment, which includes Nickelodeon’s Dora the Explorer, the Cabbage Patch Kids and Maya & Miguel. Performing on the main stage will be dancers from different countries with mini stages featuring book readings in Spanish, dance lessons and puppet shows.
The “mercado ambulante,” or floating market representing 22 companies, will be giving out free samples of health and beauty products. Queens Hospital Center is providing information on product labeling with nutrition advice that can aid children in performing better scholastically. A bi-lingual pharmacist from Rite Aid drug stores will be present to talk about health issues common in the community.
“Of all the varied cultures and traditions that are woven into the fabric of American life, Hispanic Americans have some of the most distinctive, vigorous, and sustained culture and traditions,” said D. Pacheco, JuntaHispana’s creative director.
“I became involved in JuntaHispana because I wanted my two young daughters to understand the innumerable contributions of Hispanic Americans in our world today, and the richness of culture that is their heritage,” she added. “I wanted them to be able to rejoice in our diversity and celebrate our unity.”

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