A gathering at Queens Borough Hall celebrated the Peruvian Bicentennial on July 28, marking the nation’s 200th anniversary of independence from Spain.
It was the first time the Peruvian American Coalition of New York held an Independence Day celebration in a government space.
“The Consulate General of Peru in New York and myself are honored to participate in this special commemoration of my country’s bicentennial,” said Ambassador Marita Landaveri, Cónsul General of Peru. “This celebration brings together many Peruvians who live in Queens, New York City or anywhere else in this great state of New York and as a community we will continue to share our values, our heritage and will continue working for the improvement of the quality of life for all of us New Yorkers.”
The event highlighted the cultures of the Andean and Afro-Peruvian people through dance and spoken word and a video presentation on Afro-Peruvian poet Victoria Santa Cruz.
The Peruvian American Coalition of New York presented awards to elected officials, community leaders and event sponsors.
“Queens congratulates Peru on its 200 years of independence and extends a heartfelt salute to the people of Peru and to all Peruvian Americans on this happy occasion,” Queens Borough President Donovan Richards said. “Our borough is proud to host what will be a wonderful observance of Peru’s bicentennial.”
General Jise de San Martin declared independence from Spain on July 28, 1821, which began the decline of Spanish colonial domination in South America.
“Congratulations to Peru on its 200 years of independence,” Corona Assemblywoman Catalina Cruz said. “The Peruvian people are integral to the diversity that makes Queens, and I am proud to represent a district full of Peruvian food, art, culture and, of course, neighbors. My district thanks and appreciation goes to the Peruvian American Coalition of New York and Queens Borough President Donovan Richards for holding this important celebration.”
Renowned Peruvian singer William Luna performed two musical pieces and Peruvian cuisine was offered by some of Peru’s top chefs living in New York City.
“This event aims to give visibility to our Peruvian community, their contributions and culture not only in Queens or in New York City but in the United States and around the world,” Peruvian Coalition of New York President Sandro Navarro said. “Places of power like Queens Borough Hall are symbolic spaces of justice and economic prosperity and we want our Peruvian community to understand that they have access to both, and that we have allies who advocate for our rights as immigrants in this country.”
Congresswoman Grace Meng was unable to attend the event but a representative from her office did on the elected official’s behalf.
“I thank everybody for coming together to commemorate Peru’s Bicentennial Independence Day right here in the ‘World’s Borough,’” Meng said. “It is an honor for my office to participate. I send congratulations to the people of Peru, and wish them and Peruvian Americans an enjoyable celebration.”
In the coming weeks, Queens Borough Hall will also host ceremonies honoring the independence days of Jamaica, India and Pakistan.