Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church

OKC-St. Luke’s Asbury hosts fiesta during Hispanic Heritage Month

11/2/2018

The Yúmare Mexican Folkloric Dancers perform at OKC-St. Luke’s Asbury as part of a festival held at the church during Hispanic Heritage Month.
By Tabitha Beckman
 

In honor of Hispanic Heritage month, OKC-St. Luke’s Asbury threw a fiesta for their community with crafts, games, food and music. The children painted maracas and Mexican flags, made crepe flowers, and everyone enjoyed eating elote (Mexican grilled corn), nachos and duros. They also had a bouncy house and piñatas.

The celebration ended with the Yúmare Mexican Folkloric Dancers putting on a special show as a thank you to the church.

Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.

The celebration starts in the middle of the month because Sept. 15 marks the independence days of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Mexico, Chile and Belize follow shortly after on Sept. 16, 18 and 21 respectively.

OKC-St. Luke’s Asbury is located in a community with a large Hispanic/Latino population, so they offer English as Second Langauge classes and host Spanish bible studies as a way to reach out to their community. They also open their church to the Yúmare Mexican Folkloric Dance group for free, providing them a safe space to practice.

The children and teens who attend the dance group learn about Hispanic/Latino culture through exploring the stories behind dances found throughout Mexico’s diverse regions.

The group’s director, Shana Madrid-Smith, is grateful to OKC-St Luke’s Asbury for allowing them to practice at the church during the week.

“We really wanted to give back because without this space, we wouldn’t really have anywhere else to go,” Madrid-Smith said. “I’m so thankful they let us use this space every week.”

 

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