By: Isaiah Showell, Follow South Jersey Multimedia Journalist/’What’s Good’ Host
BRIDGETON. N.J. — Mexican Independence Day was celebrated at the Bridgeton riverfront courtesy of Unidos Para La Familia on Saturday, September 18.
Isis Sosa, a member of Unidos Para La Familia and family advocate, put the event together inviting local non-profits to come out and celebrate the Hispanic culture.
“For Hispanic people we don’t need a reason to celebrate or to party,” Sosa said. “Even though I’m Mexican, it’s a really beautiful culture, they have different traditions and they’re nice to celebrate.”
Anayeli Gonzalez of Unidos Para La Familia and an ESL instructor expressed how proud she is to belong to the Hispanic culture. “You have to be happy about where you came from for your parents, you have to be strong when people say you have to go back to your country, no this is my country as well you’re here,” Gonzalez said. “You have to stay strong like a tree because your roots are growing and that’s how they continue on.”
Music and food were provided for those in attendance. Tania Perez of Sierra Juarez in Vineland came out to feed the people for a few hours. “We enjoy doing this mostly because we give back to our community,” Perez said. “We love to see our community and spend time with them that’s why we do it.”
Wendy’s restaurant, Inspira, and The American Red Cross were also out informing the people about what they had to offer. Rob Rone, franchise owner of Wendy’s in Bridgeton, said he was looking for new recruits. “We’re here to support the community,” Rone said. “We’re also looking for great people to join our team come aboard and work with us at Wendy’s.”
Ashley Krumenacker of Inspira came out with four other pharmacists to inform the people of the vaccinations at her table. “We’re doing the vaccine clinic here at the festival,” Krumenacker said. “At Inspira we have both the Pfizer vaccine and Johnson & Johnson.”
Robert Sanchez and Julie Borsky of The American Red Cross also addressed the people of Bridgeton. “We’re trying to get involved with the Latin Community,” Sanchez said. “We need more Latin volunteers, people that can speak Spanish, we can get our message out, there’s a big Latin community out here in Bridgeton and that’s who we’re here for.”
The County of Cumberland Planning Department, Bridgeton Main Street Association, and Bridgeton Chamber of Commerce made their presence known to the people of Bridgeton by setting up their tables and interacting with everyone willing to talk. Jennifer Morgan of County of Cumberland Planning Department had a table full of informative information for Bridgeton.
“We do planning, tourism, and agriculture,” Morgan said. “Also, there’s other areas in the county that have health services, aging, and many other things.”
Joemy Munez of Bridgeton Chamber of Commerce detailed why Bridgeton needs to know about their services. “Bridgeton Chamber of Commerce helps the local community, the business owners want to help Bridgeton grow,” Munez said. “We’re involved with other communities not just Cumberland, Bridgeton and Vineland also get together, and they helped to create this event and connect everyone.”
Rosalinda Garcia Vice President of Bridgeton Main Street Association stood amongst the people at her table to share information about her organization. “We try to host events to promote the businesses coming together so we can attract business to the downtown area,” Garcia said. “I’m a member of the Bridgeton community I grew up here and I’d really like to see our downtown growing, there’s so many businesses out there sometimes I feel we’re not directed in the right way now coming together with Lieda and Bridgeton Chamber of Commerce working as a team also Revive South Jersey we’ll have unity in our community.”
Carlos Obrador Garrido, Head Consul of Mexico in Philadelphia at Consulado de México presented adult students in the Mexican Programs in the United States with diplomas for completing their elementary and middle school studies at the event bringing the event to a close and setting the bar high for celebrating Mexican Independence Day next year.
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