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(November 2017 Newsletter) Fiestas Mexicanas Come to Clovis Point

By Nhan Pham

CLOVIS POINT – “EMBRACE CULTURE!” read the message that hung on the center of the Clovis Point Intermediate School’s gym wall as students filed in for the first assembly of the year on September 15. The assembly was in honor of Fiestas Mexicanas, a celebration of Mexico’s Independence Day (Día de la Independencia) in the valley that takes place at Lincoln Park in Wenatchee.

Erika Gasca and Eder Alfaro, two folklore dance instructors from Guanajuato State Cultural Institute in Mexico, performed elaborate dance routines for students and staff members.

Gasca and Alfaro have performed their Latin American dance routines all over the world, which last year included a trip to Japan.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity for kids to celebrate and learn about other cultures,” said Clovis Point Principal Bob Celebrezze. Celebrezze said it is important for students to appreciate other cultures.

Many students just at Clovis Point have cultural backgrounds tied to Mexico. So having the dancers visit their school to showcase a piece of Mexican culture was special, he said.

Gasca and Alfaro donned traditional attire for their dance routine. For instance, in the first performance, Gasca wore a huipil and a turquoise skirt while Alfarosported a cowboy look. The two danced to the beat of Latin music resonating throughout the gym. Their elaborate choreography had the students and staff mesmerized. They clapped along to the rhythm of the music, applauding Gasca and Alfaro as they danced and whirled up the gym floor.

“The students were engaged, watching, quiet and cheering,” said Noemi Martinez, the Latino Education Coordinator and school counselor at Clovis.

The students gave Gasca and Alfaro a huge ovation as they finished their dance. Gasca and Alfaro smiled back to the crowd and took their bow. Prior to the assembly, Gasca and Alfaro also held a workshop to prepare for Fiestas Mexicanas.

Martinez said having the two perform for Clovis has a positive impact on the students and community. Their performance also teaches about the different styles of dancing in Latin culture. 

“We are real lucky to have Gasca and Alfaro perform for Clovis,” Martinez said. “A lot of our kids go to the celebration.”

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