Music, dancing, food: all things helping to bring Huntsville locals together to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. But, they’re not just here to party, locals are coming together and learning from one another.
In doing so, comes recognizing the struggles of your neighbor.
We met up with Evelyne Rivera, from the Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice, an organization that works to ease some struggles for some of our newest neighbors, and make sure they know their rights.
Evelyne Rivera is the new North Alabama Regional Organizer. She says it’s important for her to be in attendance and extend herself for those who need support during a challenging time. Rivera adds, “It’s important so that they can see that they have a place here. That they are welcomed here, and that they can do whatever it is that they need to do so they can help themselves. It’s important for us to let them know that so that they feel welcomed and they don’t feel fear. They don’t have to feel like they have to be hiding in the shadows.”
At the Hispanic Heritage Festival, visitors have the chance to learn about different cultures historical practices. A woman named Elizabeth even showed one of our reporters a technique using wooden tools that originates from Columbia and helps women body contour. Elizabeth opened “Spa By Liz” using this technique and says she always uses her cultural past to guide her into her future.
Other attendees just hope that those who come to celebrate, come with an open mind and heart to learn about the rich history here.
We spoke to Gladys Turruviares, who attended representing Panama. She says, “You have to come every year to this event because the children need to learn more about different countries… They have to learn that we’re family and we should always be together.”
The Hispanic Heritage Festival is put on every year by the Alabama Hispanic Association.