As we enter Hispanic Heritage Month, I encourage you to immerse yourself in Hispanic culture to learn more about the beauty and diversity our culture has to offer. Try a new Latino dish, listen to our local Spanish language Radio 97.7 (did you know we had one?), or learn some Latin dance moves at one of the area Latin Nights.
Better yet, immerse yourself in Hispanic Culture at the Hispanic Heritage Festival happening today at RiverScape MetroPark.
The Puerto Rican American and Caribbean Organization (PACO) was started in 1991 by a group of Puerto Ricans primarily working at Wright-Patt Air Force Base. Throughout the last 30 years, PACO has become an organization representing all Hispanic/Latino countries and includes members from Puerto Rico, the USA, Mexico, Panama, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Colombia, and Haiti just to name a few. PACO held the first Hispanic Heritage Festival in 2001 to celebrate Hispanic Heritage as well as to educate the community about our culture through displays of our food, crafts, music and dance.
PACO is a 501c3 non-profit organization and is an all-volunteer organization. They give back to the community from the proceeds of the festival. Some of their charitable giving includes scholarships, food baskets and toys for children for 3 Kings Day. Take some time this Saturday, Sept. 17 to support a local non-profit as well as learn more about and celebrate the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America at the Dayton Hispanic Heritage Festival.
Karla Knox is originally from Panama but has lived in Dayton for 32 years. She is the President of the PACO organization and is an enthusiastic supporter of the local Hispanic/Latino community.