Hispanic heritage month – Samantha Scetta

From Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, Rhode Island will be celebrating a history of Latino heritage in the smallest state. Over the years, the diversity rate in Providence has grown massively, and hearing people speaking Spanish or Portuguese is just a part of living in or near the city.

So why celebrate? Because of the massive progress the Spanish Community has made over the last fifty years!

A Dominican woman named Josefina Rosario and her husband Tony were the first Dominicans to arrive in Providence in 1959. She opened up the first Latino business in Rhode Island, a market she named Fefa’s Market. Josefina and Tony helped dozens of Dominicans escape tyranny and settle safely in Providence.

Quite a few events appealing to all ages and backgrounds will be held over the next month to pay homage to Josefina and the other immigrants that worked hard to build a community in Providence.

The first event that kicked off Hispanic Heritage Month was the unveiling of the first Latino Fotohistorias History Marker on Thursday at the Parkview and Broad Bus Shelter.

Stop by SouthLight, a new theater/performing space in front of Southside Cultural Center of Rhode Island on Sept. 25 for a community festival from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Latino culture events will be showcased throughout the evening, including scenes of “Shakespeare en El Verano” performed in partnership with Trinity Repertory Company, performance by the Rhode Island Black Storytellers and a film viewing by Providence Latin America Film Festival.

One might try something different though, like making Ecuadorian figures out of bread paste, creating Mexican foil animals or decorating a musical Chilean rain stick—all in the same month at Knight Memorial.

The next month is going to be an exciting time for Latino Culture in Rhode Island. People with all different heritages are welcome to attend any of the events listed above.

Information on these events and more can be found on hispanicheritageri.org.