Celebrating earth’s bounty with Latino culture and cuisine
Offering a chance to delight in the flavours and sounds of South and Central America, the Pachamama Mother Earth Festival is returning to Alberta Avenue on Aug. 17.
“This time around, we are trying to focus more on education and awareness, with more film presentations and speakers in the care and protection of Mother Earth,” says Ana Alfaro, festival co-founder.
This is the second year for the festival, organized by the Pachamama Association in conjunction with the Pachamama Canadian Cultural Centre at 91 Street and 118 Avenue. The association’s goal is to hold cultural and artistic activities, with a focus on supporting Indigenous people and educating the public on the harms of deforestation and mining in South America.
Alfaro said last year’s event was a chance for people to get to know the festival. Though low in numbers for that first year, it was well received.
“People were pleased with the entertainment, food, the speakers, and the information provided,” says Alfaro. “Everyone who attended and who saw the online video of the event were very happy and encouraged to support our organization and the event this year.”
Pachamama is an Incan Quechua word, associated with the goddess whom the indigenous people of the Andes venerate as earth and time mother.
“But Pachamama is commonly known as just Mother Earth,” explains Alfaro.
Alfaro came to Canada from El Salvador over 30 years ago, first establishing an El Salvadoran social services organization to help refugees from Central America and East Asia.
Organizers are also inviting First Nations, Latino Americans, and environmental groups to participate in the Pachamama Festival.
The festival is an opportunity to make people more aware of current environmental and social issues with topics like permaculture, environmental care, and cultural preservation. Organizers have included a selection of documentaries about these issues in Latin America.
“It’s important to keep that awareness alive for the protection of the environment,” says Alfaro. “At this moment, we only know [of] one planet like Earth in existence. We must protect it for future generations.”
While the premise of the festival is to explore all these areas, it is also to gather to celebrate music, cuisine, and cultural diversity.
As last year, this year will include cultural displays, music, art, dances of Latin America and First Nations in Canada, and food from countries in Central and South America.
For the children, there will be handicrafts and activities. Festival visitors will also be able to buy Latin American handicrafts.
For more information, visit www.facebook.com/pachamama.lccc.
PACHAMAMA MOTHER EARTH FESTIVAL
Aug. 17, 10 am – 8 pm
Alberta Avenue Community Centre
9210 118 Ave
Featured Image: Last year’s festival featured Central and South American food. | Kate Wilson