The Festival de Comunidades Extranjeras 2011

The Festival de Comunidades Extranjeras (Festival of Foreign Communities), an event that brings together the many foreign residents of Querétaro to show the cultures, cuisines, and tourism of their native countries, took place at the Parque Bicentenario on June 3, 4, and 5, 2011.  More than 40 countries from the Americas, Europe, Asia, and Africa participated in the Festival.  The U.S. booth was jointly sponsored by El Puente de Esperanza, given its ties to the U.S., and the Peace Corps.  The kids and staff of El Puente, and volunteers from the Amigos de El Puente and Peace Corps were there to greet visitors.

Our booth was decorated to evoke the rugged landscape of the southwestern region of the U.S. and we offered food and activities to honor the traditions of the indigenous peoples of that area.  Visitors to the Festival were able to enjoy Indian fry bread with beans, Navajo tamales, and barbecued beef, prepared by a talented local chef using authentic recipes.  We welcomed adults into the booth with the challenge of assembling a puzzle map of the states of the U.S., and entertained children with coloring pages of indigenous themes and making objects with beads.

The Peace Corps is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year with the theme of promoting the culture of volunteerism.  Volunteers from Peace Corps Mexico staffed the booth throughout the three-day event and explained to visitors both the work done by Peace Corps around the world as well as their personal experiences in Mexico.  This discussion was linked to the work being done by volunteers for El Puente and many visitors completed a form expressing their interest in supporting this non-profit organization in Querétaro.

The Festival was a great success and a wonderful opportunity to learn about the native countries of our neighbors!

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