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A unique Hispanic marketplace on S.E. Foster Road is fun to visit, and continues to draw attention

DAVID F. ASHTON - Signaling the start of this years Taste of LatinoamÉrica fiesta by sounding a conch shell was a performer with Huehca Omeyocan Aztec Dance. At a location unique in all of the metro area, the "Portland Mercado" in the Foster-Powell neighborhood on S.E. Foster Road again held a community party on Saturday, September 7. It's called "Taste of LatinoamÉrica", and it provides both culinary and cultural experiences, while creating economic development opportunities for Latinx entrepreneurs.

"Here at our fourth annual 'Taste of LatinoamÉrica' festival we're highlighting many cultures from around the globe, with 20 additional vendors on-site," explained the Mercado's Director, Shea Flaherty Betin.

This year, it's not only about the food, he said, "Today, we have arts and craft vendors who are in our Mercado Incubator Program, which allows them to show and sell their craft products," Flaherty Betin told THE BEE.

"It's true, when many of people think of the Mercado, they think of great Latinx foods – but we're much more than that," Flaherty Betin commented. "Our business incubator program offers services to a wide variety of new entrepreneurs, from all walks of life, different backgrounds, and different, primarily-Latinx countries."

So, in addition to browsing the cuisine, drinks, art, crafts, live music, forro dance classes, photo-booth, and kids' activities, attendees visited the many vendors offering arts and crafts – including paper crafts, indigenous projects, and woven products.

Learn more about the Portland Mercado online – www.portlandmercado.org


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