Event: Fiesta Mi Gente: A Celebration of Cultura
Date: September 23, 2023
Location: Mexican Heritage Plaza, San Jose, CA
Population Served: Current Foster Youth & Non-Minor Dependents (NMDs)
On Saturday, Child Advocates debuted an exciting new event, Fiesta Mi Gente: A Celebration of Cultura. Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Volunteers and foster youth of all ages gathered at the Mexican Heritage Plaza, some even traveling multiple hours to be a part of the excitement.
“Fiesta Mi Gente is the first of many events celebrating cultures representative of the youth we serve at Child Advocates of Silicon Valley,” said Lived Experience CASA Specialist and event co-host Angelina Rodriguez. “These immersive experiences, whether familiar or new, bring together CASAs and their youth in an extremely intentional way. From getting our bodies moving in a soccer game to enjoying traditional foods from 12 different countries to learning a song in Nahuatl, this event truly is a celebration of cultura!”
Attendees explored a range of interactive activities, each representative of different countries and cultures across the Americas and the Caribbean. The experience offered organic learning opportunities in a safe, nurturing environment while fostering creativity and socialization amongst both the CASAs and the youth. Art stations included piñata-decorating, Cuban yarn doll-making, Puerto Rican Taíno rock-carving, Mexican lithograph-printing and Guatemalan quetzal bird-crafting. Attendees were transported to new places as they taste-tested authentic dishes, journeying through 12 different countries and earning stamps in their event passports along the way. They sampled Mexican tamales, Argentinian alfajores, Salvadoran pupusas, Brazilian pao de queijo and more! Later, the group participated in soccer drills and free play, organized by Allera Sports, before the afternoon ended with a game of Lotería and goodie bags filled with souvenirs from their virtual travels.
“I love going to these events with my CASA and my brother!” shared one excited youth. “My favorite part of the day was playing soccer and Lotería with other kids. It was so fun that I didn’t want the day to end!”
Over 60% of the foster youth Child Advocates serves identify as Hispanic, making it essential to provide opportunities for cultural celebration and exploration, like this event. Fiesta Mi Gente allowed CASAs and their youths to enjoy positive childhood experiences through physical and artistic activities, which play a role in combating experienced trauma.
This event was made possible by the generous support of our donors, and we are thankful to Creations by Stina, Allera Sports, Rebekah Children’s Services and the School of Arts & Culture at the Mexican Heritage Plaza for their partnership. We look forward to seeing everyone again next year!
If you have any questions or are interested in sponsoring a youth-related event, please contact our development department at email@example.com.