HYATTSVILLE, Md. (DC News Now) — Dozens of people gathered at Hyatt Park in Hyattsville to kick off Hispanic Heritage Month Friday evening. It’s a part of the City of Hyattsville’s last summer jam event.
“I hope that they feel that they belong. That they will know that they’re here I just want them to feel like they can belong here and this is their home,” said Sandra Shephard, Director of the city’s Community Services.
Hyattsville has a Hispanic population of more than 30%. Shephard says they hosted the last summer jam event by showcasing the culture and sharing it with the community.
“They’re your neighbors, they’re the people your kids go to school with. I think that it’s important to accept, learn about other people. And just you know what at the end of the day, we’re all humans,” said Shephard. “We are people that love to work hard, and it just makes you feel like you belong here and makes you want to give more to this country,” said Shephard.
There was music, food, games, live performances from Mexican and Cuban heritage, and several vendors. Guests even had the chance to learn cultural dances.
Debi Martinez, owner of Sol Y Luna Creations, sells jewelry and crystals. This was her third summer jam event, and she says it was important for her to represent herself and her business at Friday’s event since it focused on Hispanic Heritage month.
“I think that it’s like a lot of pressure like El Salvadorian but I think we need to come out a little bit more and showcase who we are because we are creative people,” said Martinez. “I want you guys to know where I come from, that I am Latina and that I’m proud.”