The Latin community of Opa-locka turned-out in record numbers to celebrate their background and culture, while observing rich customs and tradition, as Mayor “Lady” Myra L. Taylor and former Mayor Joseph L. Kelley, along with other current and former Commission members, participated in festivities that embraced the Latin legacy during two separate Hispanic Heritage Festivals, celebrated in the City of Opa-locka on October 9th and 16th.
Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Peru, Salvador and Venezuela were among the many Latin countries represented through Hispanic music, food and attendance at the two FREE events, as residents feasted on Paella, cochino, arose con pollo, congri, carimanolas, empanadas, plantains, shredded beef, pan, tortilla and other delights from a variety of Latin countries, along with an assortment of food and snacks such as jerk chicken, popcorn, cotton candy and snow cones from the Caribbean and America. Accompanying each buffet was plenty of exercises and games in the form of Dominos, Bounce Houses, Rock Climbing, Face Painting and Dancing to Latin music by entertainers Estefany Medina, Landy D. (Oct. 9) and Grupo Ayer y Hoy (Oct. 16), who performed in the City, by request of the City’s Park and Recreations Department, for the second consecutive year, during the Hispanic Heritage Festival.
“This is very good. We are glad that you guys are doing this for us,” 27-year resident Maida Lorena Lavoy exclaimed as she sat to “catch a breath” between dances. Lavoy was accompanied by her mother and sister who originally came to the City from Ecuador.
The two celebrations brought many residents together, prompting Commission members to encourage all, Latin and non-Latin, to take note on embracing one another’s differences and similarities, not only during the Hispanic Heritage Month, but by supporting each other and having a good time together… all year-round!