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Celebrate Mexico Now Festival Comes to East Harlem & Washington Heights

QUETZALCOATL: Aztec Tales, Legends, and Music

The presence and positive impact of residents of Mexican heritage is very much felt across New York City today

with thriving businesses, restaurants, and artistic expression. On November 19 and 20, Literacy, INC (LINC) will

celebrate Mexican culture in East Harlem and Washington Heights with free programs for families with young

children as part of the Celebrate Mexico Now Festival.

Music and storytelling will be shared with families. Mariachi Angeles de Nueva York is an East Harlem based

group of young people who started playing together since childhood in order to preserve their culture. Mariachi

music can be traced back to the 18th century. As many folk traditions do, mariachi has evolved over time and is

today characterized by a band that has violins, trumpets, and guitars. Musicians rotate as the featured performer,

taking turns as lead vocalist and backup singers. In 2011, UNESCO recognized mariachi as an Intangible Cultural

Heritage, LINC knows that music is a wonderful way to engage children and develop listening skills. Mariachi music is

catchy, easily accessible and fun, even if one cannot interpret the lyrics.

Storytelling, like music, is a conveyer of tradition and a skill-builder, developing a child’s capacity to listen and

grow. Those auditory skills will be key to achieving reading proficiency. Storytelling can be comforting and

affirmative by reflecting a child’s own cultural heritage and, in a different mode, open up a world to engage with,

beyond what a child already knows. Both kinds of experiences contribute to a positive association between

listening and knowledge; both serve as an important pre-reading platform. LINC is excited to have Valentina

Ortiz, an accomplished multilingual Mexican storyteller, recipient of Mexico’s Ministry of culture grant. She

relies on Nahuatl and blends Aztec tales with music to make old legends come alive.

Whether participants are embracing their family’s own cultural heritage or are simply residents of Nueva York sharing

in the diversity that makes our city so special, this should be a marvelous event.

Register now for East Harlem or Washington Heights with the respective QR codes below. We can't wait to see you there!



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