Latino Book and Family Festival

A Community Acknowledging Itself



Latino Book and Family Festival

Photos by Alan Quinn

Saturday, August 12 saw MiraCosta College open its campus to the 62nd Annual Latino Book and Family Festival in San Diego. Sponsored by Latino Literacy Now, the festival hosted over 80 booths, small souvenir markets, several food trucks with authentic Spanish cuisine, and (as the name implies) a slew of authors and their books––all in Spanish of course, though there were English copies available.

Walking up and down the slopes of the main courtyard where the festival was located did require some leg work, but the sight and sounds of excited festival-goers and authors never seemed to tire even as the sun began to cast orange tints.

Latino Literacy Now

Jacquelin Fematt Dutson, a contributing author to an anthology of poetry and memoirs called “Déjame que te cuente…” (Let me tell you) was happy to reach out to all the festival-goers. Her festival neighbors, Evelyn Gonzales and Maritere Rodriguez Bellas, were displaying their own works “La Regla de 16” (The 16 Rule) and “Cómo Criar Niños Bilingües” (Raising Bilingual Children), both of which are geared toward teens and young adults. Next to them was Tom Prezelski and his non-fiction book: ”Californio Lancers” The 1st Battalion of Native Cavalry in the Far West 1863-1866.” 

Latino Literacy Now

In addition to these (and many more) authors, the festival also awarded several community leaders with personalized awards for their good service to the community, and there were over twenty workshops covering various topics from different writing styles to community awareness. A first in Northern San Diego history, the “Espiritu de la Communidad” (Spirit of the Community) awards were presented to Ms. Ofie Escobedo, Dr. Beatriz Villarreal, Professor Emeritus John Valdez, Mr. Jimmy Figueroa, Ms. Corie De Anda, Mr Manny Aguilar, and Mr. Roberto Rivas.

Latino Literacy Now

Keynote speakers such as author Victor Villaseñor spoke with an open heart about Latino progress and pride, and Sylvia Mendoza discussed her purpose in writing and the numerous Latina women who have inspired her. 

Many people travel to attend the festival every year across many locations. Over 900,000 have attended the events since their inception in 1997, and many more will go in the years to come.

Latino Literacy Now

Many people travel to attend the festival every year across many locations. Over 900,000 have attended the events since their inception in 1997, and many more will go in the years to come.

Many people travel to attend the festival every year across many locations. Over 900,000 have attended the events since their inception in 1997, and many more will go in the years to come.

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