The annual celebration of Latino heritage, "Fiesta Latina," will be held at Chautauqua Park on April 28 from 1 to 7 p.m. The event — which is free and open to the public — will feature games, food, music and activities for all ages. The event is coordinated by RAICES, a student organization at Buena Vista University.
"Fiesta Latina is an important event that not only celebrates the Latino culture but also brings together the Storm Lake and surrounding communities," says Estefany Gonzalez, president of RAICES. "We want everyone in attendance to gain a greater understanding of the Latino culture and all that it has to offer through the various performances and activities at the event. Storm Lake is a truly diverse community, and I think it's important for us to be exposed to the different cultures that are present so that we can become better citizens, not only in our community, but also in our society in general." Estefany is a junior accounting major from Orange City.
Other BVU student organizations assisting with the event are the Student Activities Board (SAB), ROTC, and Spanish and Social work classes. Storm Lake community involvement is being coordinated by Valentina's Meat Market and Storm Lake United. BVU organizations providing part of the funding for the event include Weekend Programming, Student Senate, Office of Intercultural Programs, and SAB.
The event will also feature food vendors representing the Latin American culture, and activities including inflatable games, arts and crafts, a three-legged race, carnival games, and a jalapeño eating contest. Proceeds from the food sales will be donated to St. Mary's Church for the Guadalupe Fund which gives food and clothing to families in need, and to the Center Against Abuse and Sexual Assault (CAASA). Approximately 900 people attended the event last year.