The September edition of Celebrating What Unites Us focused on Latin America and featured guest speaker Jose Jesus-Garcia Mota, the Latino Liaison from the Mayor’s Office Of Neighborhood Services.

Mota spoke about his immigrant journey from Mexico City to the United States. Arriving in Boston in 2009, he first served at the Consulate General of Mexico as a Deputy Officer in the Department Of Citizen Protection.

Mota described how he’s become extremely fond of and familiar with the Boston area, referring to it as “my second home“. He has a strong attachment to the East Boston neighborhood in particular, where he currently lives, because of its rich and vibrant culture. Mota also informed attendees on upcoming events, including a two-day celebration at Copley Square dedicated to Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead).

Following an opportunity to walk the labyrinth at the Armenian Heritage Park, attendees were treated to a cooking demonstration provided by Chef Paola Garza from OldWays, a food and nutrition non-profit based in Beacon Hill.

Chef Paola Garza.

Garza’s recipes are part of Oldways: A Taste Of Latin American Heritage series. Sauteed quinoa with swiss chard and Oldways’ wild veggie tostadas were the featured dishes. Oldways also supplied copies of the recipes in case attendees want to try making the dishes at home.

Eugenia Soiles from the Age Strong Commission as well as Elizabeth Miller from the Mayor’s Office Of Food Access delivered brief informational remarks and distributed handouts containing resource-related information.

The monthly event series “Celebrating What Unites Us” highlights the immigrant experience through storytelling, walking the Armenian Heritage Park labyrinth, providing information on food access, and a free lunch at THE KITCHEN. It is presented by The Trustees, Age Friendly Boston, Mayor’s Office for Immigrant Advancement, and Friends of Heritage Park on The Greenway, and sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. The next Celebrating What Unites Us will take place on Tuesday, October 22nd from 10:30AM to 1PM. More information can be found here.

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