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13th Annual Latino Family & Book Festival

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.


About Adriana Villavicencio

Dr. Adriana Villavicencio is the youngest child of Ecuadorian immigrants. She has moved 29 times in her life, taking her on a journey from California to Bangalore, India, and New York City, where she recently earned a Ph.D. in Education Leadership and works as a Research Associate at New York University. An avid traveler, Adriana has collected experiences in four different continents and 16 different countries. But as a former high school English teacher, some of her fondest memories are those of her brilliant and brilliantly funny students in Brooklyn and Oakland. Adriana has contributed to several publications including the Daily News and, and is a managing editor for the Journal of Equity in Education. She earned a B.A. in English and an M.A. in English Education at Columbia University, and currently serves on the board of Columbia’s Latino Alumni Association (LAACU). She enjoys scary movies with red vines, Sauvignon Blanc, and her Maltese dog, Napoleon.

To learn more about Adriana’s education consulting company, please visit

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and should not be understood to be shared by Being Latino, Inc.


  1. Eileen Rivera-de la Hoz says:

    A great event, so happy you were able to participate!

  2. Love to see stories like these with solidarity in the Latino community. Let the “L” in Latino stand for Líder!

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