Hola Oklahoma said Festival Amistad is not only a way to bring Hispanic communities together throughout Oklahoma, but for others to celebrate their culture.
Dozens of floats marched in Festival Amistad to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. Carlos Ortiz helped organize the festival. He said the Hispanic community in Oklahoma isn't going anywhere, it's growing.
“54 percent of the students in Oklahoma City public schools are Hispanic, 32 percent in Putnam city are Hispanic, 20 percent of the students in Edmond are Hispanic and so on. Instead of trying to divide we need to unite all the cultures,” Ortiz said.
Several vendors from countries all over Latin America set up booths at the festival. Elsa Cates has a Peruvian dessert company.
She said food is a big deal in her country and bringing that here to Oklahoma makes her feel close to home.
“It's great for not only Hispanic people for everybody for every country can come in and celebrate together,” Cates said.
Organizers of Festival Amistad also said this is an opportunity for the young people in the Hispanic community to learn more about themselves. Nancy Baeza teaches dances from different cultures in Mexico to kids.
“For the most part, many kids have not even traveled to Mexico and I try to let them know this is what your ancestors have left behind. In their regular education in school that's not really something that they get from school so why not educate them,” Baeza said.
Baeza said dance is just one way to have fun while teaching her heritage. She said theres so many layers to what makes Hispanic culture so special. She encourages others to spend more time learning about Hispanic Heritage Month.