St. Philip’s Church of Lemon Grove celebrates Latino and Hispanic heritagec

6
47
WEBLatino.jpg

On Sept. 17, the hypnotic beat of Native American drums sounded out from the plaza area of St. Philip the Apostle Episcopal Church in Lemon Grove. The Quetzalhuitzilin Colibri group, also known as Danza Azteca, performed to celebrate the annual Latino and Hispanic Heritage Day of the San Diego Episcopal Diocese.

Families and friends gathered together to enjoy the dancers, luscious Filipino and Mexican food and drink, music and a children’s area with crafts, bounce house, mini carousel and balloons.

On Sept. 17, the hypnotic beat of Native American drums sounded out from the plaza area of St. Philip the Apostle Episcopal Church in Lemon Grove. The Quetzalhuitzilin Colibri group, also known as Danza Azteca, performed to celebrate the annual Latino and Hispanic Heritage Day of the San Diego Episcopal Diocese.

Families and friends gathered together to enjoy the dancers, luscious Filipino and Mexican food and drink, music and a children’s area with crafts, bounce house, mini carousel and balloons.

“This festival is a great way to show people who the Episcopal Church is and what the church is all about,” said Judith Sanchez, office administrator of the church. “It’s all about inclusivity no matter where you come from.

“Our hope is that by bringing the Latino and Hispanic community together, we are showing God’s love of all cultures,” she said.

St Philip was chosen by the San Diego Episcopal Diocese to hold the festival for the past three years because it has one of the largest Latino and Hispanic Communities within the San Diego Episcopal community.

Approximately one in every four homes in the Lemon Grove area is a Hispanic or Latino home within the Lemon Grove area, Sanchez explained.

“About one third of our Hispanic and Latino parishioners live in Lemon Grove, and the rest commute from the South Bay, including Chula Vista, National City, Spring Valley, and southeast San Diego,” she said.

The San Diego Episcopal Diocese always chooses one church to handle the celebration because it is a great way to meet the congregations from all around its region of San Diego, Los Angeles and El Centro. This is the third year that St. Philip Church has been the local for the celebration.

“It’s like a reunion each year,” she said.

The Danza Azteca members, who practice weekly at St. Philip Church’s Parish Hall, stole the show with men, women and children all dancing rhythmically to the beat of drums.

“Thank you all for coming,” said David Sierra, who has danced with Danza Azteca for eleven years. “Our dancing is an important part of our worship. We dance for the good and the bad in our lives. We dance to keep the bad away and heal our spirits, and thank our Creator,” he said.

Ron Hernandez, captain of Danza Azteca, also spoke a little about the dancers.

“Keeping young people off the streets and giving them something beautiful and positive to do is one of the purposes of Aztec Dancers. One young girl who is now 14 years old has been with us since she was seven years old. We help give the young dancers a sense of belonging and acceptance,” Hernandez said.

Sierra and Hernandez invited church members and their friends to step up for a community dance with Danza Azteca.

Rev. Martha Anderson, priest at St. Peter’s in Del Mar, watched the people join up with each other. 

“This day, this celebration is important for me because regardless of cultural differences, we are all united in our desire to follow Christ where He leads us. The unity that binds us is stronger than our differences,” Anderson said.

6 COMMENTS

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here