Three Kings Day in El Barrio

Lin-Manuel Miranda reading Los Tres Magos [The Three Wise Men]. (Photo by Cristóbal Vivar via Manhattan Times)

Families gathered at the Julia de Burgos Latino Cultural Center in El Barrio on Jan. 6 to celebrate the Epiphany, and were treated to a reading by Lin-Manuel Miranda, as well as gifts to mark the Day of Three Kings, reports Desiree Johnson in Manhattan Times. The gathering was especially meaningful for many attendees who were displaced by Hurricane María and have found a haven at the center.

The gifts had been collected as part of the “Toys4PuertoRico” toy drive, which was conducted in collaboration with the Hispanic Federation, Toys’R’Us, Telemundo, cultural arts group R.Evolución Latina – and Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda and his extended family. The drive, which began on December 12th, was timed to conclude by the Three Kings’ Day holiday so that the bounty would be distributed throughout cities in the United States and in Puerto Rico to families specifically affected by Hurricane María.

It has been estimated that more than 140,000 Puerto Ricans have left the island since the storm on September 20th and that over 300,000 more are likely to leave during the next two years.

Since mid-October, the Julia de Burgos Center uptown has served as a central clearinghouse for in-person support and access to services to individuals affected.

Not all the attendees were Puerto Rican, but the island’s woes were uppermost in some minds – although the day’s significance took precedence.

At his turn at the podium, Miranda, who’s been outspoken in advocating for greater relief and assistance to Puerto Rico, said he’d table that agenda, for a bit.

“Tomorrow we get back to politics, tomorrow we get back to bringing power back to Puerto Rico, and continuing to fight for Puerto Rico in every sense,” he said. “But today, we are going to read the story of Los Tres Magos [The Three Wise Men].”

Miranda, ever the storyteller, then focused on a playful, animated reading of the tale of the journeymen.

For more on the event, read the full story at Manhattan Times.

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