STORY AND PHOTOS OF KAREN BOSSICK
Mihai Gherman grew up in Romania. but I came here to work for Sun Valley Resort and never left.
And this weekend she smiled as she took her young sons Jackson and Luca to the 6th Annual Hispanic Heritage Festival held in Hailey.
“It’s very nice, good to see people having fun and learning about another culture,” said Gherman, who works at The Ram Restaurant. “And who doesn’t love tacos! But I want to try something else: there is a Netflix documentary that shows the street food of Latin America. And I want to find some of that.”
The dancer danced with a Jerome High School marching band during the Hispanic Heritage Festival on Saturday.
Within minutes, Gherman found what he was looking for: papusas, a Salvadoran flatbread filled with cheese and other things that Lago Azul’s Sandy Cisneros, who came to the United States from El Salvador decades ago, was preparing on a grill outside.
Others tried foods like chicharrones, a fruit cup with diced mango and several melons topped with orange juice, hot sauce and spices.
It was prepared by Manuel Zavala, who recently arrived from Michoacán, Mexica, to join his mother María Zavala and sister Itzel Chávez in the Wood River Valley.
“I was 3 years old when my family moved here; There was too much violence in our home in Mexico,” Chávez said. “I now work as a nurse for a local doctor. “We like that there is tranquility here and that we don’t have to worry about violence.”
Joselyn Mosqueda-Camacho was among those who showed children and adults how to make colored paper flowers.
The festival is an outgrowth of National Hispanic Heritage Month, which began as a week-long celebration signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson in 1968. It was expanded to a month in legislation signed by President Ronald Reagan in 1988.
Now, from September 15 to October 15, it celebrates the contributions and importance of Latin Americans and Mexicans to the United States.
Herbert Romero, who organized the local festival six years ago, noted that many of those in the Wood River Valley were watching Independence Day celebrations in the Central American countries of Honduras, El Salvador, Costa Rica and Guatemala on Friday. . On Saturday Mexicans celebrated their independence.
“This festival is American. “Americans come together and embrace each other’s heritage,” he said. “And this is the first time we’ve done it all weekend.”
Luca Gherman rode a mechanical bull called El Huracán that had been brought from Idaho Falls.
In fact, the Hailey Public Library hosted pinata breaking, paper flower making and other activities on Friday night, while bands played Mexican music on Saturday at Hailey Town Center West. On Sunday, Los Angeles muralist John Zender Estrada showed off some of his artwork and gave a presentation as he prepared to paint a mural at H Property Service in Bellevue and other locations.
Estrada has already painted colorful murals of people and the land, butterflies and other wildlife at Alturas Elementary, La Cabanita in Hailey, the exterior bathroom walls at Hailey’s Hop Porter Park and the Bloom Community Food Center in Bellevue.
Among those participating in this weekend’s events was Enrique Nava, who lives in Hidalgo, Mexico. There he was with his sister Saraluz Nava Galicia and Kyle Schweitzer. He has visited in the winter and participated in Higher Ground ski camps for wheelchair users. But he’s never been to Wood River Valley in the summer.
“He loves it,” Galicia said. “He loves flowers and greenery, and he loves the sun. And he loves this festival.”
Enrique Nava from Hidalgo, Mexico attended the festival while visiting his sister Saraluz Nava Galicia and Kyle Schweitzer.
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