On Sunday, August 27th, members of the McGraw community will celebrate the 4th annual Puertorriqueno y Dominicano Festival.
The event, called El Chinchoreo, which began 4 years ago, was started by Sheila Santos.
She named it El Chinchoreo, because In Puerto Rico, El Chinchoreo, is when everyone, including kids, adults, and elderly alike, takes the celebration to the streets.
“I used to work at Caribbean Club, and when we would host events, we had so many (Puerto Ricans and Dominicans) join us,” Santos said. “There’s always a celebration for Mexicans (in Southwest) and not really anything for Puerto Ricans and Dominicans … so we decided to create this festival.”
You can be sure to see banderas waving side to side, kids running up and down the street, and bongos being played so loud that you can hear the pride in every beat.
The event celebrates the Caribbean community and brings an additional sense of pride to Southwest Detroit.
“Dominicans are immigrants too, and they can’t go home. They long for home. Some of us can’t afford or just can’t go back to see our Mom, Dad, and families and celebrate the festivities with them, so that’s why we do this,” said Santos.
The Chinchoreo is a family event. Expect music, bouncy houses for the kids, and the best Puerto Rican and Dominican food in Detroit.
Though Santos doesn’t make any money for putting on this festival, seeing so many people join in on the fun and celebrating their orgullo (pride) is what really matters.
“The most important thing for me is seeing everyone who is involved and that comes out being able to celebrate and join in on all the fun we have,” Santos said.
The event will stretch down McGraw starting at Central Ave. and extends all the way to Cecil Ave. Festivities begin at 3pm. For more information, contact Sheila Santos at 586-271-1436 and on Facebook as Torres Michelle.
Juanita Zuniga is a graduate of Kalamazoo College with a degree in Anthropology/Sociology and English. She was born and raised in SW Detroit and still resides here today. She is very passionate about her community and hopes to serve her community through writing. Juanita is a Latin history and music enthusiast in her spare time. She is also a Cancer Sun, Libra Moon, and Cancer Rising.