Peabody to host 17th annual ‘Fiesta Latina’ Latin American culture festival

Ballet Folklorico Mexicano de Yale
Ballet Folklorico Mexicano de Yale

The Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, in conjunction with Junta for Progressive Action, Inc., will present “Fiesta Latina,” the museum’s 17th annual celebration of Latin American diversity, on Saturday, Oct. 12.

The halls of the Peabody will be alive from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with performances of traditional and contemporary Latin American music and dance, along with games, crafts, specimen and artifact tables, and activities hosted by Latino organizations. The event is free and open to the public.

The Great Hall of Dinosaurs will be the stage for music and dance performances beginning with Movimiento Cultural at 10:30 a.m., followed by Alisa’s House of Salsa at 11:45 a.m. Afternoon performances begin at 12:30 p.m. with Mariachi Academy of New England, followed by Spanish Community of Wallingford Dancers at 1:15 p.m. and Ballet Folklorico Mexicano de Yale at 2 p.m. Carlos y su Momento Musical will bring the performances to a close with an hour of merengue, salsa and bachata y boleros from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.  

From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Curious Creatures will give a presentation featuring live animals from Latin America, including some exotic ones, that visitors are invited to get up close to and touch. Their program has an emphasis on teaching respect and appreciation for living creatures.

In addition to Ballet Folklorico Mexicano de Yale, other Yale student groups participating in Fiesta include the Yale Latino Networking Group (YLNG) and the Daniel Colón-Ramos Lab at the Yale Medical School.

YLNG will have a table at the event. Colón-Ramos Lab students will demonstrate worms with different phenotype (morphology) and worms that have fluorescent neurons, explaining in simple terms the science and purpose of the activity. Daniel Alfonso Colón-Ramos, the Dorys McConnell Duberg Professor of Neuroscience and Cell Biology, was born and raised in Puerto Rico and is a co-founder of Ciencia Puerto Rico, a resource network for all who are interested in science and Puerto Rico. 

Students in the Peabody’s EVOlutions after-school program will engage visitors with exhibit-related activities using interpretive Sci.CARTS. Specimens and artifacts from Latin America and around the world will be on display. Additional activities and awareness booths will be hosted by visiting organizations throughout the day.

Fair Haven Community Health Care will hand out coloring books in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month that feature historical figures in Latino culture. The Cornell Scott Hill Health Center will be on hand with a Nutrition Wheel presentation and information on the medical, dental and behavioral health services the center provides to the community.

Arte, Inc. will facilitate a hands-on art activity involving the coloring of canvas bags. The New Haven Leon Sister City Project will have an art activity about climate solutions for the kids and share climate change information with parents. 

Representing Junta, Celina Fernandez will host a Nahuatl language station to explain the fundamentals of this Mesoamerican language of the Uto-Aztecan language family. Junta will also have a station where visitors can learn about Junta services and resources. 

Girl Scouts of Connecticut will offer face-painting and an activity making coded bracelets and friendship bracelets. The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) will invite visitors to “fish” for local fish species, represented by cutouts, then use a fish ID guide and measuring board to find out what type of fish it is and whether it's big enough to keep.

Other presenters include Xquendanu Arts, New Haven Promise, and Planned Parenthood of Southern New England. Fiesta Latina events end at 4 p.m., but the museum will be open with free admission through its regular 5 p.m. closing time

Fiesta Latina is sponsored by AVANGRID Foundation and UNIVISION. The performance stage is sponsored by the Yale MacMillan Center Council on Latin American and Iberian Studies at Yale. Arts performances are supported by the Regional Grant Initiative Program.

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Media Contact

Melanie Brigockas: melanie.brigockas@yale.edu, 203-432-5099