Thirteen years ago, Edward James Olmos came up with the idea for the Latino Family and Book Festival. One of the reasons for starting this festival was to promote literacy and learning in the Latino community. He wanted to provide a place for Latino authors to collaborate and share their ideas with the Latino community. This year the festival was held at California State University Los Angeles.
This year there were over 120 authors from 12 different Latin American countries donating their time to the festival. Many authors had stands with their work on display. Many local artist and muralist set up stands to teach kids how to draw and paint. Local businesses also set up stands to display their work, while walking around I spoke with a parent who brought her two children. One child exclaimed, “I never knew there were that many Latino writers.” This child’s comment alone made me feel proud to be part of such an amazing organization.
It’s times like these that I can see and feel the power of the Latino community. There are many of us contributing to making a difference for the future generations. People claim that Latinos can’t unite and this proves them wrong. It was a beautiful scene as I sat on a panel with a fellow Chicano, Mexicano, Boricua and Chicana. We shared our stories and work and for that moment we were one. I’d like to thank Mr. Edward James Olmos and Reyna Grande for all your hard work and dedication to making this festival happen.
2011 dates for the festival include the following:
Chicago – March 26 & 27
Houston – September 18 & 19
Los Angeles – October 8 &9
By guest contributor, Rolando Ortiz.