Long Island Celebrates Its 12th Salvadoran-American Day

Celebrating the 12th Salvadoran-American Day Festival (Photo via Noticia Long Island)

The 12th Salvadoran-American Day Festival was celebrated on Aug. 5 to the beat of the cumbia and the waving colors of the Salvadoran flag. The event gathered over 20,000 people at the city parking lot on Washington and Front streets in the Town of Hempstead, Nassau County.

“The purpose of this festival is to celebrate Salvadoran-American Day, a right the U.S. Congress granted us. It is also a chance to promote our culture and bring family entertainment to the community,” said Nubia Lopez, director of the Salvadoran Civic Committee of NY.

The massive event allowed the crowd to joyfully display the blue and white colors of the Salvadoran flag, a sentiment shared by a number of Long Island leaders such as Village of Hempstead Mayor Don Ryan, who said that he will always be a friend of the Salvadoran community.

It is worth pointing out that the Village of Hempstead was awarded a special recognition for its 375 years in existence. “We want to acknowledge it because this village welcomed all of us Salvadorans,” said Ángel Sosa, one of the organizers.

Demanding family reunification

The slogan for this year’s festival was “We demand family reunification! Our children are not criminals!” The message deeply touched the crowd, of all ages, for its urgent significance in the current anti-immigration climate promoted by the federal government.

(…) “I feel super excited to celebrate Salvadoran-American Day. It is so beautiful to see so many people together,” said El Salvador-born Carolina Alfaro. Her friend Sonia Aguilar, from Paraguay, who was with her, said that she considers Salvadorans her brothers and sisters.

“My favorite Salvadoran food is tamales, pupusas…” expressed Aguilar. For her part, Alfaro confessed: “I miss my beaches and my family. I believe that we Salvadorans have a gift to meet people and turn them into our dear friends. That has helped me not miss El Salvador so much.”

Despite the festive tone of the event, Salvadorans are somewhat discontent and worried, particularly those with TPS. Where will they go come 2019? [when their protected status is set to expire]

In light of this question, Salvadoran Consul Miguel Alas-Sevillano replied: “What matters is that we must triple organizing efforts and support for all initiatives and proposals in favor of TPS, as well as all the lawsuits. There is much work to do, and it is time for all TPS beneficiaries to come together and fight as a team.”


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