Mexicans are celebrating the bicentennial of independence from Spain this week. The mood leading up to “El Grito” is mixed, in part because of security fears in the context of a violent crime wave.
Here, Mexican-Americans are preparing to celebrate, though the tone seems likewise subdued. Independence Day is Thursday. There’s a cultural festival Saturday at the Yonkers Riverfront Library. I caught up with a group of children in Yonkers who were rehearsing traditional dances. Here is 8-year-old Angie Millan, whose grandmother was born in Morelos.
Belen Fernandez said she’s thrilled to see her American-born granddaughter learning the same dances she learned as a child. The group’s repertoire includes the “dance of the old people” – hence the canes.
The event is being organized by a new nonprofit called Telpochcalli and ArtsWestchester’s Folk Arts Program. Zafiro Acevedo, below, is hosting the event and her mother, “Pinata Lady” Aurelia Fernandez, is leading the workshops. For details, see this ArtsWestchester page.