BY JANE DUNLAP SATHE DAILY PROGRESS
CHARLOTTESVILLE—The return of the annual Cville Sabroso Festival gives Charlottesville residents the opportunity to savor Latin American culture and learn more about the area’s vibrant and diverse Latin population.
Presented by Sin Barreras (Without Barriers) and The LUA Project, the festival returns after a pandemic-fueled hiatus with folk dances from Mexico, Puerto Rico, Bolivia, Peru and Venezuela, plus music , foods, beverages and products representing many nations.
The festival will take place from 2-9 p.m. Saturday at Booker T. Washington Park, giving the whole community a chance to come together.
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“For us, it’s about ongoing healing and connecting with different groups,” said Edgar Lara, executive director of Sin Barreras and one of the event organizers. The 2017 festival took place about a month after the violence that followed the Unite the Right rally on August 12, 2017, and “so many people found this event to be exactly what they were looking for”.
From fresh food prepared by local businesses to energetic music and dancing, the volunteer-led festival gives visitors the opportunity to learn about the different Latin American cultures that help enrich life in Charlottesville.
“I think a lot of times people get an idea of what Charlottesville and this community is like,” Lara said. “They may not realize the Hispanic community is here too.”
The Cville Sabroso festival “was just tiny” when it started in 2012 at the McGuffey Art Center, Lara said. As it grew, the festival moved to IX Art Park.
Sin Barreras, a Charlottesville-based nonprofit that works to empower immigrants and their families, has a second office in Waynesboro. The organization focuses on education, advocacy, and support for the Latinx population of Central Virginia.
As exciting as enjoying the pageantry of colorfully-dressed guest dance ensembles on special occasions, Lara said he would love to see more local people in the Latinx community form folk dance groups here.
“One thing I find pretty cool is folk dancing,” he said. “I hope this will inspire the younger generation to appreciate folk dances. We hope that more people will be inspired to form their own groups.
Free entry. To learn more, visit sinbarrerascville.org.