Latino Heritage Month kicked off in Los Angeles with festivities for the 80th annual “El Grito” (cry for freedom) at downtown city hall on Sunday, March 15. The Celebration for the Mexican Independence Day holiday, on September 16, continued into Monday throughout the San Fernando Valley and Los Angeles.
Councilwoman Nury Martinez, the representative for the Northeast San Fernando Valley was the city’s (italics)“madrina,”(italics end) main organizer for this year’s event. Martinez, now the LA City Council president pro tem, invited talent from her district to perform. Los Tesoros de San Fernando and Ballet Folklorico Ollin proudly took center stage at the downtown celebration.
The large crowd attending the celebration also enjoyed the music of the all-female mariachi group Las Colibri, along with Banda La Maravillosa, and La Mera Candelario performed. Los Tigres Del Norte performed as the headliner for the event. Los Tigres Del Norte is noted for their songs about struggle, immigration, work and love.
Mayor Eric Garcetti and other LA elected leaders attended with other dignitaries that included Marcela Celorio, Mexican Consul General of Los Angeles, and José Duarte, President of El Comité Mexicano Cívico Patriótico.
Martinez called the city’s diversity its “greatest asset,” and pointed out that Los Angeles is home to the second-largest population of those of Mexican heritage outside of Mexico City. This year’s celebration included a voter registration drive and a census awareness campaign.