"Every year, I think it's very important for the Latin American residents that live in this country and in Madison to have this celebration," says Fabiola Hamdan, chair of Latino Children and Families Council and organizer of the event.
"We have this celebration in most of the Latin American countries.
It is a set day - like Mother's Day.
El Día de los Niños is very meaningful to us because we don't want our kids to lose the meaning of the tradition."
The first local El Día de los Niños was held at the Salvation Army
on Darbo Dr. 10 years ago where the organizers planned for 200 people only to see more than 800 people attend.
Since then, the event has been held at the Sports Club
in Oregon, the Boys and Girls Club
, and now at Goodman Community Center
near east side.
"The reason we're doing it at the Goodman Community Center
is because we feel like a lot of the Madison community centers don't have activities for Latino youths," Hamdan
"It's not necessarily the center's fault, but we just need to make it visible to the Latino community that the Goodman Community Center
exists and that they have programming."
has office hours at the Goodman Community Center
and believes that it is an excellent facility.
"I would like to see the communities integrated a little bit more," she
"Latino people are not only on Park Street, like everybody thinks.
We are everywhere.
All over the place.
The Goodman Community Center
is a great facility and have a great staff, but I would love to see Latino families use the facility more."
"A big part of this event is giving the visibility to local authorities on how much the Latino population is growing - especially how young this population is," Hamdan
"It will be a fun event, but it will also be very informative," Hamdan
"We have newcomers and very young children and we want to get them some very specific information."
Sponsors of El Día de los Niños include MG&E
, Group Health Cooperative
, Hawks Quindel SC
, Arellano & Phebus
, CUNA Mutual Group
, UW Health
, Meriter Hospital
, La Movida
& Voz Latina
, Access Community Health Center
, Brooks 4 Schools, Habaneros
, Decoraciones Nayeli, and Goodman Community Center
There will be plenty of activities, fun, music, games, and a variety of Latin American folk dance groups.
Unlike past years, there won't be a health fair component to the day.
"We are really growing as a community and we really wanted to focus on the celebration for the children," Hamdan
"With the Latino Health Council
we did a lot of healthy check-ups, but it was hard to get your cholesterol checked and to go have fun with the kids.
So, right now, parents should come ready to have fun with their children and also receive lots of valuable information."
There will be activities for the youth, a live DJ playing reggae and rap.
There will be dancing, open mic, and capoeira.
The University of Wisconsin-Madison
, Edgewood College
, and Madison College
will be there bringing information about education and employment for Latino youth.
"We will have a workshop on deferred action so youth can learn about that led by attorney Ramona Natera," Hamdan
The annual El Día de los Niños event will be held Saturday, May 4, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Goodman Community Center
, 149 Waubesa St. If you have any questions or would like to participate and/or volunteer, please contact Fabiola Hamdan
at Hamdan@countyofdane.com or (608)246-2967