Latinx Celebración celebrates culture, youth, community

FLINT, MI – The Flint community enjoyed the summer heat on Lewis Street at The Latinx Technology & Community Center on Saturday afternoon.

The community center hosted the Latinx Celebración event from 2 to 5 pm Aug. 6. It was a time for kids to cool down on the water slides and for local vendors and small businesses to make new connections.

Water slides, bounce houses, music, dancing, Latin American food and activities for children were all free for attendees. Executive Director Asa Zuccaro, who has been a part of the event for four years, was excited about the turn out.

“Every year has gotten a little bit bigger and bigger,” said Zuccaro. “This is the first year we applied with the City of Flint to shut down Lewis Street as we’ve outgrown just our little Hamilton Court. It’s exciting to see that it’s getting bigger every year.”

Recent Michigan State University graduate Jennifer Padilla was a vendor at the event for her lash company, “Ishashe.” In addition to promoting her new business at the event, she wanted to feel at home with her cultural roots.

“I just moved back to Flint and I lost connection with the Latinx community. I want to get to know more Latinos in Flint,” said Padilla. “My goal for today is to sell some of my items and also to meet new people that I have never met. I have already been seeing a lot of new faces that I’ve never seen before.”

The Latinx Celebración was community-driven for Zuccaro, the volunteers, the vendors and the attendees.

“We’re a community center, and I think what we see here at a community event is really that celebration of community,” Zucarro said.

Especially gratifying to see was the performance of the youth program, Zucarro said.

“Our youth had been here throughout the summer, participating and learning more about the culture and learning more about language, and learning more about leadership for our high school students,” Zucarro said. So, for them to be able to present and talk about what they did over the summer and then even showcase the cultural arts. I think that’s beautiful.”

The cultural food vendors and the businesses and the volunteers, who help and donate, also make the event special and possible, Zucarro said.

“It’s always great to be able to provide a platform for those small businesses, especially when they’re from our community,” Zucarro said. “We want to promote them right and that’s important.”

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