SUNSET PARK — Nonprofit organization Mano a Mano: Mexican Culture without Borders held its annual Mexican Independence Parade and Festival in Sunset Park on Sunday, Sept. 29.
Starting at 11:30 a.m., participants and attendees marched along Fifth Avenue between 38th and 60th streets, alongside Mexican folkloric dance, music and community leaders.
The festival portion took place during the afternoon at the Brooklyn Army Terminal Pier and featured local artists, cultural groups and nonprofit organizations providing information on immigrants’ rights and other services.
“NYCEDC was proud to host this year’s Mexican Independence Parade and Festival at the Brooklyn Army Terminal in Sunset Park, said NYCEDC Executive Director for Sunset Park Julie Stein. “This community event celebrates Mexico’s rich culture, history and unity, and we’re glad to bring neighbors together for a wonderful experience at BAT.”
“This was a really difficult year,” said Councilmember Carlos Menchaca. “I am from El Paso, Texas, and what happened in August was the hardest thing I have ever had to process. When I went home, I thought I would see despair, pain, and rage. Instead, what I saw was love, grace and triumph. It was the Mexican community coming together, refusing to stay in the shadows, and instead proclaiming loudly: We are here, we are not afraid, and we are what make America great.”
“It’s very important to us as our organization Mano a Mano Mexican culture was approached by members of the community of Sunset Park,” said Juan Aguirre, executive director of Mano a Mano.
“They wanted to celebrate Mexican Independence, but most of all they wanted to celebrate our heritage in a way that it can be displayed and community members who are not Mexican would see the diversity, the colors of our traditions,” he stressed.