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Hispanic Heritage Festival Celebrates Latino Culture, Promotes Community Resources In Cache Valley

Music, dance, food, and prizes were part of the 2021 Hispanic Heritage Festival which took place this past Saturday at the Logan library. 

Local Latino businesses and nonprofit organizations were all a part of the Hispanic Heritage Festival which aimed at uniting the community through resources and entertainment.

Ernesto Lopez, the first Hispanic representative on the Logan municipal council and the festival’s organizer, told us how the festival started in Logan and how it has grown since.

“In 2014 many parents wanted to start a children’s stories reading program here in the library, and that was the beginning. Many of us got together in a matter of one or two months. We immediately said, "what else can we do?" And then the idea of ​​a festival was born. This would be our eighth festival, with the difference that last year, due to the pandemic, it had to be virtual. In past years we have had a similar attendance, but I think that today there were more people than in other years."

The city of Logan, through the Logan library, has supported the festival by providing the venue and coordinating musical and dance performances.

“The library has supported us with the budget,” Lopez said. “When the folkloric ballet comes, we know that, many times, they come from other places, and we know that their costumes and the effort to rehearse cost a lot, so sometimes we have tried to compensate for these types of presentations because there are many participants. The library makes the effort, I am not going to take any credit, the library is the one that sets the budget to be able to help some of these [musical and dance] numbers that require a lot of effort and a lot of resources to come here. In this way, the city has helped us because the budget for the library comes from the city.”  

Lizette Villegas has played an important role in the success of the festival. She brings in Logan organizations to the festival to promote community education and resources.

“About 15 non-profit organizations were here today. Thanks to the years that I have had working with the community, I have contact with all the non-profit organizations. I sent them a little message and said: “we need you to be there,” and here they were! Obviously, our community is growing, but at the same time our community is coming together, and we are supporting each other, and that is being seen in the events when people come and support us. No one was charged to come to sell or to the non-profit organizations, so that's where we genuinely look at what our intent is, which is to support and unite our community,” Villegas said.

Hispanic Heritage Festival has been promoting and celebrating the Latino culture in Cache Valley since 2014.

Manuel Giron produces news content at UPR. As a bilingual reporter, he writes stories in English and Spanish, and is involved in all steps of the reporting process from thinking of story ideas to writing the stories and preparing them for air. He is a Senior at Utah State University majoring in Political Science and minoring in Portuguese. He loves to write, read, listen to music, and swim. He is incredibly excited about working for UPR and learning about journalism in the process.