LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Members of the community were able to immerse in cultures from around the world.
“Of course Mexico, but Puerto rice, Columbia, Venezuela, Peru Jamaica, Haiti,” organizer Sylvia Stelly said.
The Latin American Market Festival allows guest to emerge themselves in the culture of different countries.
“We also have some food here from the countries selling their own food,” Stelly said. “Then we have different tables representing arts and crafts from their countries.”
Inspired by the Latin markets she visited as a kid in Brooklyn, Stelly wanted people to see how diverse the city is.
“You may not get a chance to go to those countries,” Stelly said. “Why not get a chance to come out here today and look at the different things they have to offer.”
Stelly founded the La Familia Resource Center in 2008. There she is able to help people from other countries looking to move to the area.
“Bridging the gap between the American societies and the cultures that are coming into Lake Charles,” Stelly said.
The center offers programs like tutoring, American citizenship classes, family reading time, and English as a second language classes.
“I feel like it’s important for them to learn English so they can adjust and adapt to the American society and survive,” Stelly said.
As people visit with each country at the festival, Stelly said she hopes American’s see the importance of sharing in someone else’s cultures.
“We can learn from each other and learn to appreciate each other’s differences although we are different we may be similar in a bunch of ways,” Stelly said.
For more information about the center’s programs, visit the La Familia website.