'Mexico Day' connects kids with culture
Last Saturday, Sahalee Park was filled with both children and adults at the Saturday Market as Madras High School Key Club hosted the second of their Kids' Cultural Days, with a Mexico theme.
The Key Club student leaders provided several cultural crafts, including making mini pinatas, baleros (ball and cup game), button making, cultural coloring pages and maracas. The craft stations were busy all day and set up so kids of all ages could participate.
Throughout the day, there was music by DJ Dino Mix, who is known for playing music at local quinceaneras and had been asked to play family-focused Mexican music for the event. Additional entertainment included the StudioK Folkorico Dancers as well as two donated pinatas.
The StudioK dancers demonstrated dances from the Mexican states of Jalisco, Chiapas, Yucatan, and Baja California Norte.
According to Karina Rufener, owner, choreographer and teacher for folkorico, "Dancing folkorico transcends language in expressing the diverse cultures of Mexico, as well as cultures from other Latin American countries, helping to bring our diverse Central Oregon community together through the beauty of dance."
Local stores donated to the event, including El Mercandito Latino, which donated pinatas and candy, as well as El Surtidor, donating another pinata. The dessert breads came from El Mercandito, as well as the candy the children used to stuff their self-made mini pinatas.
Kids and parents alike got the opportunity to try horchata, agua de pina (pineapple juice) and hibiscus juice donated from La Posada Restaurant and served next to the donated dessert breads and chicken, pork or cheese and jalapeno tamales in the food sample area. The tamales were donated by the Olivera family.
MHS Key Club advisor Kim Schmith said, "I am particularly proud of Erika Olivera our outgoing president, for stepping up to the plate and asking local businesses to support this great family event. She went and asked businesses for their help and they readily answered her requests with donations that enabled us to provide greater experiences to the youth and families of our community."
Olivera said, "The best part of the event was watching the young children's faces light up when we spoke to them, English or Spanish to explain something, and knowing that all the children of the community felt welcome."
The event was made possible by the many hours of donated time from MHS Key Clubbers, a Jefferson County Cultural Coalition grant, the Madras Saturday Market support for music and a city of Madras grant.
The next Cultural Day will be Saturday, Aug. 24, in Sahalee Park with a focus on El Salvador. The event will also have multiple crafts, activities, music and food samples.
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