The Latino Literacy Festival
by Charlisse Bennett
On October 11th 2009 I attended the Edward James Olmos & Latino Literacy 12th Annual Los Angeles Latino Book & Family Festival at California State University of Los Angeles. The location of the event was at the Green Lee Plaza at Cal State L.A. As I approached the scene, I could hear the sound of Latino music in the air.
When I entered the festival, the first thing I saw was beautiful art displayed of Latino culture. There was a section at the Green Lee Plaza especially for children that included arts and crafts, face painting, puppet shows, book readings in English and Spanish, and much more. Any child that sat down and participated with the author’s readings was entered in a raffle.
The winners of the raffle would receive a big beautiful basket full of books, games, and shirts for the whole family. The festival had a lot of booths that catered to different things such as book signings, jewelry, music, poetry, gifts, rosaries, newspapers (L.A. Times), and advice on how to relieve stress. CVS also had a booth where they gave prizes and allowed people to print their photos for 19 cents a copy. There was a stage where people of Latino culture performed dances, poetry in English and Spanish, music, high school students performed music and dancing and was awarded money. There were lots of women, men, boys, and girls dressed in beautiful costumes of all sorts and colors. The food court served Latino food of all sorts from wet burritos to papusas. Different restaurants walked around serving samples of their food to try. The food was great. I won two huge baskets full of books and supplies for me and my family. I also saw Reyna Grande, the author I met and purchased an autographed book from at LASC after her reading at the Art Gallery on campus. I am very pleased I took the time to take myself and my family to experience this event. We enjoyed ourselves so much we stayed from the beginning until the end of the festival.