A small but energetic crowd got together at the intersection of Bunker Rd. and Dixie Highway in West Palm Beach. Flanked by police cars and fire trucks, more than a dozen locals started walking towards a nearby Catholic church, chanting, singing, and waving flags while carrying a large banner that read “Latin Quarter West Palm Beach.”
And just like that, the first Annual Latin Quarter WPB Hispanic Heritage Month Parade was underway this Saturday morning. The City of West Palm Beach, Keith James served as “Gran Mariscal” and other local elected officials were also present.
Since its insertion, the Hispanic Heritage Month is a way to honor the contributions of Latinos to the United States, observed from September 15 to October 15. It is celebrated during this period as a nod to the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua, who all declared independence in 1821.
Many immigrants from those nations have also established themselves along the southern area of West Palm Beach and through the years they have been very active in the community, contributing to the economy of the city. Many business owners and local leaders in the city are Hispanics who live on this side of the West Palm and they have realized the need for an organization that helps celebrate the cultural heritage and diversity of this community but also serving as a connection to engage, educate, and empower the Hispanic families in West Palm Beach’s “Latin Quarter” so they can achieve the American dream while maintaining their values and Hispanic heritage. This non-profit organization is Latin Quarter WPB,” which is also the organizer of the parade as a catalyst for unity and inclusion following this year’s national theme for the Hispanic Heritage Month, “A History of Serving our Nation.”
Mayor James recognized the long-standing contributions of Latinos to the city. “It’s a great day to be here and celebrate the first Annual Latin Quarter WPB Hispanic Heritage Month Parade,” he said speaking from the main stage at St Juliana Catholic Church that also happened to celebrate the Hispanic Heritage Month with a Parish Festival. “This might be the first parade but the Hispanic community has been making contributions to West Palm Beach for many, many years and it’s time, indeed is long overdue that those contributions are recognized.”
The Hispanic community has contributed significantly to the city of West Palm Beach and its history. The annual parade and forthcoming events by the Latin Quarter WPB organization will continue enhancing the city’s diverse history where friends and neighbors can gather with the growing influence of the Hispanic community.
First Latin Quarter WPB Hispanic Heritage Month Parade