‘Taste of Latinoamérica’ fest delights many

Here’s why folks, many from outer East Portland, were streaming into the Foster-Powell neighborhood on a Saturday in September …

Visitors celebrate Hispanic culture, arts and food at this year’s ‘Taste of Latinoamérica’ festival, held at Portland Mercado.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Kicking off the start of National Hispanic Heritage Month, which officially began September 15, the Portland Mercado in the Foster-Powell neighborhood hosted their third annual “Taste of Latinoamérica” on Saturday, September 9.

Not only is it a fun family event, says Community Coordinator Shea Flaherty-Betin, the festival also supports Latino business development.

“The Portland Mercado, a Latino culture and small business development hub, puts on this one-day festival every year to promote economic opportunity, culture, art, and the diverse flavors of Latin American regions, as well as to support Latino entrepreneurs,” explained its Community Coordinator, Shea Flaherty-Betin. “Here, we have vendors originally from Mexico, all the way to South America.

At the Los Alambres stand, Miguel Hernandez cooks up a savory storm.

The food carts stationed at Portland Mercado do a brisk business during the event.

“Special today, visitors will find Guatemalan and Venezuelan food, in addition to our usual regionally-recognized Colombian, Cuban and Puerto Rican fare,” Flaherty-Betin pointed out. “Also there are artisans, some of whom have come all the way from Mexico to sell products, in addition to local artisans offering handmade items.”

The band Oleada rocks out with their Chicha-style cumbia grooves, combined with surf guitar, post-rock, jazz, jam band, and found sounds.

Nayela Wolf-Guerrero gets a beauty treatment from face painter Ruth Gourdine.

Kids’ activities at the Portland Mercado included face painting, and crafts led by artisan women from El Salvador. “And, we have a live music all day, and on into the evening,” Flaherty-Betin observed.

“Events like this one are important because they support entrepreneurship in the Latino community and creating jobs, and building assets,” he said. “Portland Mercado not only brought some $35,000 in economic activity to the neighborhood last year, it also promotes Latino culture!”

Let’s get inky! say Chilean letterpress shop owners Daniela Delmar and Camila Araya of Letra Chureca Press who have a studio in the Southeast Industrial area.

With the beautiful late summer weather, as many as 5,000 visitors were estimated to have come through the event.

To learn more about the Portland Mercado, see their official website: CLICK HERE.

© 2017 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News


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