At Latino Heritage we try to have a bit of education in everything we do. We usually also try have fun while we're at it. Happy to share that there are a lot of people in our community who not only appreciate the work that we do, but offer support.
Jeff Penichet has long been active in the Latino community. He serves on the Creative Advisory Board of the National Hispanic Media Coalition and was recently appointed to the Board of Administration of the Los Angeles City Employees' Retirement System. He has produced films and was a former teacher. Beyond all this he has served in the Peace Corps, established Bilingual Educational Services and has served on the boards of the Mexican American Opportunity Foundation and the California Association of Bilingual Educators.
And tonight he has offered a home to us to use for our Tequila Tasting.
Because the time period our parade and jamaica is focused on is the mid-nineteenth century, the evening will begin with a little bit of dance from the Islands.
Why, you wonder. Well, at that time some "Californios" would send their children to the Sandwich Islands - Hawaii - to learn English. There was no safe means of going directly across the United States and the other way to get to the East Coast was taking a ship that traveled on both sides of the Americas.
Eighteen year old Maritza Canto Espinoza, one of Altadena's gems, dances the Tahitian Otea with her group Keiki O ka 'Aina. Over the years Maritza has learned about the dances of Tahiti, Hawaii, New Zealand, and Samoa. She has also learned about the culture of each of these Pacific Islands. She is well versed in Hula, Otea, Swings Maori poi (dry and with fire) and is an award winning Siva Afi (Samoan Fire Knife) Dancer. One of her favorite memories was performing in the 2011 Rose Parade along side the Dole Float designed by Raul R. Rodriguez.
We will also enjoy appetizers and nibbles from El Patron and Mota's Mexican Restaurants - both in lovely Altadena.
El Portal and Doña Rosa have donated fine bottles of tequila to be a part of our sampling.
It will be a night that will be rich in color and taste.
It will be a night where we have fun while we raise funds for the work we do in the community.
Such a deal.