Hispanic Heritage Month to be celebrated Oct. 4-5

At the Schwartz Center in Dover
September 28, 2013

The Delaware Hispanic Commission, in partnership with the Arsht-Cannon Fund, the Coalition of Pastors of Delaware (COPAD) and the Schwartz Center for the Arts, will present the Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration Event with two days of activities Friday and Saturday, Oct. 4 and 5, at the Schwartz Center for the Arts at 226 South State St., Dover. The event will celebrate the cultural background of more than 100,000 Latinos who reside in Delaware, and their contributions to the community.

Dayan Aldana & the Latin American Ensemble will begin the festivities with a concert at 7 p.m., Friday, Oct. 4. Aldana is an outstanding singer, actor, and radio talk-show host, born in northern Peru and now based in northern Virginia. Aldana is celebrating a 10-year professional career as a singer of Peruvian coastal music. She is considered to be one of the most representative voices of Peru in the U.S., and one of the most awarded Latina singers in Washington D.C.

A reception will follow at 9 p.m. in the Schwartz Center, second floor with foods being catered by La Quetzalteca Mexican Restaurant, Dover.

From 1 to 3 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 5, there will be a Health and Information Fair that will have health screenings, a job center mobile unit, Food Bank of Delaware with information for children’s and family nutrition, ASPIRA of Delaware Inc., NuCall Research & Stand By Me with economic advice, Delaware Housing Authority, Department of Labor, One Stop Bus, Girls Inc., Delaware Division of Visually Impaired Primerica, and other activities for children.

From 3 to 4 p.m., a panel discussion on issues and concerns will take place. Delaware Hispanic Commission members and subcommittees will share their work. The panel will answer questions from the audience.

Javier Torrijos, PE, chair of the Delaware Hispanic Commission, is the keynote speaker. He will talk about the mission of the commission and its future. He is a registered professional engineer in Delaware with more than 26 years of experience in roadway and bridge construction management. He is a member of the American Society of Highway Engineers First State Chapter. He has served on the Delaware Hispanic Commission since its inception by Gov. Jack Markell in September 2011.

Torrijos believes in serving others and building communities and has volunteered for various nonprofit organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, Amazing Grace, and Team Upward.

A representative of the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs will talk about the Norma Varisco de Carrion Latino Art Collection donated to the state of Delaware by Felipe García Carrión in honor of his late wife, who was a promoter of art and a poet. Several of the pieces of this collection are being displayed at the Schwartz Center for the Arts Gallery.

From 4 to 4:30 p.m., Rod Pieretti, a member of Engineers Without Borders, will talk about a bridge project that took place in January 2012, when he led a team of University of Delaware students and faculty members to San José Guatemala to construct a 60-foot, cast-in-place, clear span, concrete bridge across the Snake River.

Another presentation, “The Latin American Story” will run from 4:30 to 4:45 p.m., given by by Charito Calvachi-Mateyko, co-chair of the commission. Students will wear traditional costumes from Latin America while the stories are told.

Dinner will be provided on the second and third floors from 5 to 6 p.m. with a variety of Mexican delicacies.

COPAD has invited Lt. Gov. Matt Denn for a small reception at the Schwartz Art Gallery with all the members of the coalition.

From 6 to 7 p.m., a Talent Showcase will take place featuring Marco Antonio Muñiz M., a young talent from Mexico; Panamanian dancer Sogna Bravo and her team; singer Rachel Domínguez from Mexico; guitarist David Hernández; the Ministry of Dance from the Casa de Esperanza Church and Maranatha Church; and Janet Granados’s band.

At 7 p.m. the film “Hands of Harvest” will be screened, with a short discussion Director Adrian Muys, who is an award-winning filmmaker and president of Red Circle Films, which produces documentaries for international development companies in Washington D.C. “Hands of Harvest” is his first feature-length documentary, and it chronicles the journeys of migrant Mexican women who travel to fishing villages on Maryland's Eastern Shore to pick crabs in seafood plants scattered along its rural shores. This film explores the complexities of local politics, immigration and shifting - and often conflicting - cultural tides. Also speaking will be Executive Producer Matt Haley, and Tom Benca and Mitch Martinez, freelance directors of photography and editors.

For more information about purchasing tickets go to: or call 302-678-3583.

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