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Oaxacan festival of Guelaguetza offers a taste of Mexico

By: Nina Schutzman

Source: www.poughkeepsiejournal.com


Poughkeepsie has a large community of people from Oaxaca, Mexico, many of whom work here while their family and friends remain in their home state and country.

To help maintain those ties and keep traditions alive, the fourth annual Poughkeepsie La Guelaguetza, a replication of a centuries-old festival celebrated in Oaxaca, was held and rain didn’t stop the more than 2,000 people who went to the Victor C. Waryas Park on Sunday for the party.

There, they ate homemade Mexican food and watched traditional Mexican folk dances performed by four dance groups, who began their show when the sun came out around 2:30 p.m.

According to U.S. Census Bureau data, the Hispanic population grew by 73 percent in Dutchess County and 45 percent in Ulster County from 2000 to 2010. In the City of Poughkeepsie, the Hispanic population has roughly doubled, with about half being of Mexican heritage.

It was the numerous Oaxacans in Poughkeepsie who prompted Felipe Santos, one of the event organizers, to want a local Guelaguetza celebration, although he’s happy the event has grown to include many cultures.




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