Thursday, August 19, 2004
A mixture of English and Spanish flowed through Centennial Hall Thursday as residents came out to celebrate the Northwest Colorado Mexican Cultural Festival and welcome the Mexican consul general.
More than 50 people attended the kickoff event that mixed Mexican food, sculptures, music and movies.
The day also included a visit from Mexican Consul General Juan Marcos Gutierrez, who took office less than a year ago and was making his first trip to Steamboat Springs.
Gutierrez told the crowd at Centennial Hall that this would not be his last visit to Northwest Colorado.
He noted his office is making an effort to reach Mexicans and Colorado residents beyond the Denver metro area.
"More than half of the Mexican nationals who live here in Colorado, live outside of the Denver area," Gutierrez said.
Thursday's events were the result of yearlong planning. For the past few weeks, the contemporary sculptures by Mexican sculptor Yvonne Domenge have been on display at Centennial Hall. Trio Fiesta performed Mexican songs. The Cantina donated Mexican food, and the city had a screening of the 1992 Mexican film, "Like Water for Chocolat."
Lupita Hathaway, who is from Mexico and translated remarks by city officials into Spanish, said it was nice to see increased ac-knowledgement of the Spanish speaking and Mexican population in the community.
"For me, it is just great to see the people in town coming from Mexico and an interest in Mexican culture," Hathaway said.
Lucy Effinger said it was a nice way to welcome Mexicans into the community.
The day could lead to more partnerships, Gutierrez said, such as a Mexican sister city and outreach programs. Earlier in the day, Gutierrez met with elected officials and other Northwest Colorado agencies to talk about the services his office provides.
-- To reach Christine Metz call 871-4229
or e-mail email@example.com