Festival Hispano Americano Honors Metro Detroit’s Spanish-Speaking Community

By: Aaron B. Cohen | October 6, 2021

Photo Courtesy of Cultural Hispano Americano

The Centro Cultural Hispano will host the third annual Festival Hispano Americano – the Hispanic-American Heritage Festival October 9-10 in Ferndale.

Founded by Ara Sotelo, the Centro Cultural Hispano is a non-profit, Ferndale-based organization dedicated to promoting and maintaining Hispanic cultures and traditions in Metro Detroit.

The organization was established to meet the needs of Sotelo’s community. She emigrated from Mexico City in 2003, and as a mother, found herself eager to provide her children with links to their heritage.

“I was looking around for places to take my kids for activities and preserve our culture,” she explained. “There were none. I realized that every community has its own community center where they preserve their traditions and customs, but as a Hispanic – Mexican in my case – we don’t have anything. We can rent venues, but we don’t have our own space. There are limitations.”

She founded Centro Cultural Hispano with the goal of creating a space to celebrate the rich, diverse cultures that comprise Detroit’s Hispanic population. Next week’s festivities aim to highlight these distinct groups with food, art, music, and of course, fútbol.

The second day of the festival – will feature the Copa Hispana – a soccer tournament set to play out at Detroit’s Butzel Park and Ferndale High School. Sotelo says the tourney pays homage to the ultimate goal of this year’s event – “to raise money to buy a piece of land and build a soccer field for our kids.”

The festival will also feature a parade showcasing the unique cultures that make up the greater Hispanic community of Detroit. According to Sotelo, it is the perfect way to educate yourself directly from the source.
For more information about the parade, festival, and soccer tournament, click here.