Mallinson Elementary School was filled with dancing, food, music, and student performances on Tuesday, Dec. 10, as Celebración de la Navidad brought together Hispanic families across Independence to celebrate Christmas.
Two hundred people gathered to partake in activities including La Bruja and China Poblana dances performed by Van Horn High School Hispanic students, and a Spanish-language Christmas pageant put on by students from Fairmount, Mallinson, Nowlin, Procter, Sugar Creek, and Van Horn schools.
Families shared homemade traditional food from their culture including Salvadoran tamales wrapped in banana leaves, Mexican ponche (spiced punch), and Venezuelan potato salad. Area restaurants donated chips and salsa.
The event was sponsored by the Hispanic Advisory Council, which was created to promote awareness of Hispanic families within the Independence School District while promoting a friendly atmosphere in the school community. LINC Caring Communities staff supported the event.
"We want to provide a service to the Hispanic community," said Rossana Serres Park, Hispanic Advisory Council. "I appreciate how well we work together with the LINC staff."
"It was a joyous celebration of the Hispanic community in Independence," said Lindsay Browne, Van Horn and Nowlin Site Coordinator. "I hope it will attract more people to the Hispanic Advisory Council where their voice can be heard."
LINC is planning an Independence Cinco de Mayo celebration for Sunday, May 4, 2014. See the Independence Cinco de Mayo Facebook page for updates. In 2013, LINC organized the first-ever community-wide Cinco de Mayo celebration in Independence.