Crestview High celebrates Hispanic culture (VIDEO)

Published: Monday, October 15, 2012 at 05:13 PM.

“Some Latin dances are definitely influenced from Spain,” Rivera-Oquendo said. “We have also the influence of the Indian culture, either Mayan or Aztec, but also we have influence from Africa, so we have the addition of three cultures blended into one.

Boricuando, a Puerto Rican musical heritage group, invited students and teachers to the front of the room to join in several folk songs native to their island.

“Basically, Puerto Rican music is all about the fun,” bandleader Geraldyn Martinez said. “But we have the romantic side, also.”

Following a selection of native Panamanian dances, featuring Indrany and Ted Pado and friends dressed in colorful native clothes, even Big Red Machine members got into the act. Calling themselves “Los Tres Amigos,” trumpeters Alex Messick, Nick Woelfel and Josh Williams produced their horns and gave a spirited trumpet serenade that rapidly increased in rhythm while the crowd clapped along.

Guest speaker, retired 21-year U.S. Air Force veteran David Triana, emphasized Hispanic immigrants’ integration into American society and culture. During his career, he was one of 25 Spanish-speaking Air Force air traffic controllers, resulting in postings to U.S. airfields in many Spanish-speaking countries.

“I am a proud American who was born in Mexico,” Triana said. “I consider this great land my home. This is a nation that has given me the opportunity to be all that I can be. If you want to succeed in the U.S., you can.

“Be proud of your culture,” Triana said to his audience. “But I think it is more important for all of us to be proud Americans.”

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