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Enjoy some Mariachi on Mother's Day posted on 05/01/2022

Maria Burke, President of Mt. Hood Unida, noted that while Mother’s Day is important in the United States, it has a special place in Mexico, rivaling Christmas and Easter in the holiday hierarchy.

“It’s a big holiday,” she said. “We celebrate it with mariachi, dinners (and) meals with family.”

This month, Mt. Hood Unida, a local nonprofit formed to unite community and empower Lantinos, will offer a Día de las Madres from 5-9 p.m. Saturday, May 7. The event will feature a tamale dinner, mariachi, a makers market and more, with proceeds supporting Mt. Hood Unida programs.

“We wanted to do Mother’s Day just because we know how big it is in our culture,” Burke said.

Cristina Saldivar, Vice President of Mt. Hood Unida and Burke’s sister, noted that moms from all families made sacrifices for their children. Their mother, Maria Saldivar (who will be catering the event), left her family in Mexico to start a new life in Welches, without knowing a person here or even the language.

“Our mother did that for us; we appreciate it very much,” Burke said. “We have so many different opportunities and we’ve had a wonderful life here on the Mountain.”

The event will feature a mariachi band made up of students from Woodburn High School.

“Nothing makes me more proud and feel joy for my culture than that intense, beautiful sound,” Cristina said. “Mariachi brings people back to a time they want to remember; events, special days that are a snapshot of culture, joy and resilience.”

The event’s market will include vendors with arts and goods, including churros from Tanny’s Bakery in Gresham.

Dia de las Madres will be held at the Mt. Hood Lions clubhouse, 24730 E. Woodsey Way in Welches. Tickets are $18 for adults and $9 for children and can be purchased at the door or at Coffee House 26, 67211 Hwy. 26 in Welches.

Mt. Hood Unida formed last July and kicked off their events calendar with a Día de la Independencia last September and Día de los Muertos in October. It offers the Saul Gallegos Ruiz Memorial Scholarship, helping Latinx students in the Oregon Trail School District participate in school sports.

Burke also noted that Mt. Hood Unida just received grant funding for an afterschool program starting this fall, Una Voz, where middle school students can practice Spanish, learn about the culture and more. She added that in the future, they hope to have a space of their own to help connect people with resources and more, while Cristina added that future offerings could include an open mic night, a migrant women’s writing group and more.

“We know that there are some really incredible stories out there on the Mountain,” she said. “With the organization, there hasn’t been a moment we haven’t stopped dreaming.”

The group is also looking for possible board members, volunteers and committee members. For more information, visit www.mthoodunida.org.

By Garth Guibord/MT





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