KENNETT SQUARE—National Hispanic Heritage Month, from September 15 to October 15, holds an important place in the calendar in Kennett Square, where we celebrate the Hispanic cultures of so many in our community—friends, neighbors, colleagues, and local business people.
The celebrations begin on Sept. 15 with a community picnic at Anson B. Nixon Park hosted by Casa Guanajuato, a local nonprofit that shares the traditions of all Hispanic cultures with younger generations and the wider community. The picnic, which starts at 3pm, will commemorate the independence of Mexico and other Hispanic countries with food trucks, music, flags, a special ceremony, and traditional costumes. “Everyone is invited!” says Casa Guanajuato co-founder Kathleen Snyder.
Casa Guanajuato is also partnering with the YMCA and the Philadelphia Union to host soccer tournaments for men, women, and children, as well as clinics with coaches from the Philadelphia Union, in their “Futbol Para Todos! (Soccer for All!) tournament, which kicks off September 14th.
“Futbol Para Todos! is an initiative to promote diversity in Chester County and to inform young people about the different services offered by various agencies in our community, as well as to empower youth and women in our area,” says KACS case manager and Casa Guanajuato leader Gonzalo Cano. The finals will be held on October 5th at the Jennersville Y. Everyone is invited to watch the exciting, fast-paced matches and cheer on their favorite teams.
“There will be an awards ceremony, face painting for the kids, and food vendors,” says Cano. “Different agencies will have tables with information about their services, and people are encouraged to bring cans of food and vegetables to donate to KACS (Kennett Area Community Service) for the food cupboard. At Casa Guanajuato we’re excited to have this event this year in partnership with the different agencies.”
All of Casa Guanajuato’s events are free and open to everyone. Their only fundraiser of the year is a fun and festive Cena Baile (dinner and dance), “A Night in Mexico” (Noche en Baile) at the American Legion Hall on Sept. 28. Proceeds from this event enable Casa Guanajuato to offer their diverse slate of programs—including their annual Cinco de Mayo celebration and Dia de los Muertos exhibition—to the community. Call 610-335-6327 for more information and tickets.
Historic Kennett Square’s Third Thursday on State Street on Sept. 19 will have a special focus for Hispanic Heritage Month with music by Trio Voz Y Sentimiento and activities for all. Casa Guanajuato and LCH will both have tables with activities for kids. “We’ll be playing a game called Lotería—a game similar to Bingo,” says LCH Community Engagement Manager Amanda Blevins.
“LCH is excited to be a part of the local celebrations for Hispanic Heritage Month,” said Board Chair Ronan Gannon. “While we have grown and expanded our services as a community health center for all, we have a rich history of serving the Latino community in Southern Chester County. We see firsthand the wonderful cultural and economic contributions of our members, and we are proud to be a bilingual, multicultural resource that not only supports but also celebrates the diverse populations in our region.”
The Kennett Library has also planned a full slate of activities to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. “There will be many displays featuring Hispanic authors and cultures, art activities for children, Spanish story times, a movie night, and even a special commemoration,” says Adult Literacy Program Director Filomena Elliott. “There will be a plethora of things to see and do in the library, and there is always a great book awaiting you—try one in Spanish or one about a new culture!”
President Lyndon Johnson established Hispanic Heritage Week in 1968, and National Hispanic Heritage Month became law in 1988. The anniversaries of independence for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico, and Chile all fall within this 30-day period. Around the country, festivals and events spotlight the many contributions, diverse cultures, and history of those with roots in Spain, Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean. In Kennett Square, Casa Guanajuato, the Kennett Library, and LCH are all planning special activities to celebrate the rich cultural diversity that helps to make Kennett Square such a vibrant place.