Cultures converge at the 2007 Hispanic Festival - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Cultures converge at the 2007 Hispanic Festival

September 15, 2007

Albany -- The band played, people danced and the smell of carnita's filled the air. "We have carnitas, which is pork with sauteed onions and it's very good," said Ramiro Alvarez from San Joe's Restaurant.

Many came downtown to experience a culture that is becoming more and more prevalent in Southwest Georgia. "We are about 7,000 here in the Albany; in Southwest Georgia, we are about 75,000. So we are definitely growing," said Hispanic Festival Co-coordinator, Ana Diaz-Torres.

This event gave the community an opportunity to learn about the Hispanic culture. "Many professionals are moving into the area. We want to dispel the myth of just one type of Hispanic," said Diaz.

"The Hispanic population impacts our business in many positive ways. We have a lot of business owners paying taxes; legal citizens who are about bringing diversity to our community," said Albany Chamber of Commerce Literacy Director, Harriet Hollis.

Over 40 vendors were at the event. Many of them local businesses. "It's important to recognize other cultures because we are becoming more of a melting pot," said First Tee volunteer, Brent Lacy.

And other vendors were Hispanic-owned businesses. "We are here like everyone else, working to get a piece of that American pie," said Alvarez.

The festival allowed a platform for both to be represented. "In order for us to grow and bring economic development to Albany, we have got to all come together. It's about unity," said Hollis.

And the common thought here: divididos tenemos nada, pero juntos tenemos el mundo. That means divided we have nothing, but together we have the world.

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