Santa Monica continues to celebrate Latin American heritage on Friday

On Friday, the Santa Monica Community is invited to a closing ceremony for the city’s first Hispanic Heritage Month celebration. The event takes place at 3:30 p.m. in front of the town hall

The aim of the Hispanic Heritage Month Steering Committee was to highlight and celebrate the diversity of all Hispanics, starting with this month-long celebration and building on that momentum throughout the year.

“I believe we started the conversation and this is just the beginning where people become a program for further relationship building,” said Steering Committee member Donald Zelaya. “One of the goals is not just transactional, but also building and developing relationships. While we feel very successful in educating the community and planting these seeds, we believe they need to be cared for and developed so that they can flourish, so that we know this is just the beginning. “

The Hispanic Heritage Month Planning Committee will recognize 13 distinguished Santa Monicans in the community with awards for their leadership and dedication to Santa Monica. The winners were nominated by roommates, community members and colleagues last month.

The idea behind Santa Monica’s first Hispanic Heritage Month celebration was a total team effort, and in large part due to the pandemic.

“This event was born out of a desire to feel seen and empowered, but also just to think about how difficult these times were, especially for Latinos and our first responders and children, really like taking due care to say what they are had to say, her moment is in the spotlight. I think that really got us going, and while there are six of us on this Steering Committee, we cannot say enough about the contributions and other members in the organization who have helped us, ”said Zelaya. “Whether it was about the facility, whether it was about stuffing bags, getting closer or whether it helped us to find talent or just to support and reach different organizations.”

Friday closes the series of events that began on September 15th. The month-long series included virtual discussions, film screenings, literary events, night markets, cultural dance and music, and much more.

“The Latino community may be overlooked at times, but we definitely want to graduate and make this month a memorable one,” said Zelaya. “So this is really what we want to see through to the end, so it was a very rewarding experience and I think this is going to be something that we hope will make an impact on the fabric of the city.”

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