Latinos for Progress celebrated Latin heritage Friday night with Noche de Cultura in the packed Marvin Center Ballroom, featuring live Latin entertainment from around the world.
The night began as Ivette Fernandez, GW graduate and Miss Alaska in the 2000 Miss America pageant, addressed the audience and reflecting on her childhood. Living in Alaska, she was challenged with keeping her Latin heritage alive, while “entering mainstream American culture,” she said.
Fernandez urged the Hispanic population to “stick together, and be more involved in community, politics, education and business.”
Noche de Cultura included a live mariachi band, dance troupes and singer acts from Peru, Mexico, Spain and other countries who displayed brightly colored costumes.
Members of the local Spanish Dance Society displayed their intricate steps, making music with their hand-held castanets. The Dominican Dance group excited the crowd with their daring lifts.
The night also exhibited Spanish folk artists and salsa dancers.
“This event was great,” Tara Moscatello said. ” It was incredible to see such a mixture of Spanish culture and heritage.”