Newark Public Library Celebrates Ecuadorians
in New Jersey
The voice of the Ecuadorian community, its culture, heritage and presence, rang through the galleries of The Newark Public Library recently as area residents gathered for the opening of the Library’s 27th Hispanic Heritage Celebration.
"The Latin Diaspora is well represented in the state of New Jersey; this year, we are exploring Ecuador through images of the land, its topography, music, culture and heritage and the insight and experiences of the Ecuadorian people who have come to call the Garden State home," said Wilma J. Grey, director of The Newark Public Library in her opening remarks September 13 in Centennial Hall.
Her words were greeted by the cheers of hundreds of people attending the ceremony marking the opening of the exhibit, Ecuador: ExpoCultura 2007, and the programs scheduled through the next weeks as the Library celebrates Hispanic Heritage.
"While the rest of the country celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 through October 15, The Newark Public Library believes that is too short a time," said Ingrid Betancourt, director of the Library’s Sala Hispanoamericana and organizer of the annual celebration. "Here at The Newark Public Library, we celebrate it for two months; through mid-November."
The exhibit showcasing the lives of New Jersey’s Ecuadorian immigrants is free and open to the general public during regular Library hours. Special programs featuring the music and culture of Ecuador have been scheduled throughout the next two months, with a children’s program September 22 at 2 p.m. in the auditorium of the Main Branch, 5 Washington Street. On Saturday, September 29, Teatro Tocando Puertas presents the original comedy Cuestión de Vida o Muerte, also at 2 p.m. in the auditorium of the Main Branch.
There will be a coffeehouse evening featuring the music, poetry and prose of Ecuador, Thursday, October 11, at 6:00 p.m. in the auditorium of the Main Library. Saturday, October 20, at 1:30 p.m., the Library will explore three aspects of the musical tradition of Ecuador with musician and teacher, Pepe Santana, the group Inkhay and the Ecuadorian dance troupe Ayazamana in the Main Library’s Centennial Hall. The film La Mitad del Mundo _ Proyecto QuitsaTo with Música Académica Ecuatoriana, will be shown Saturday, October 27 at 2:00 p.m. in the Main Library's auditorium.
Newark Councilman Luis Quintana attended the opening ceremonies in solidarity with the Ecuadorian people; a growing community in the city. He welcomed the opportunity to learn about the richness and diversity of the state’s Latino cultures, as seen through the eyes of immigrants to New Jersey.
The Honorable Jessica Escala, General Consul of Ecuador in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, welcomed the opportunity to thank the state, the second home to more than 25,000 Ecuadorian natives, for opening its arms and opportunities to Ecuador and to educate New Jersey as to the character and culture of the Ecuadorian people.
In the closing moments of the inaugural celebration, Ricardo Andrade, director of Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, presented a gift of books to the Library.
"We want everyone who frequents The Newark Public Library to be able to access the culture of Ecuador through its literature and literary traditions," Andrade told Grey who accepted the gift and thanked him for the heritage houses’ generosity.
Click here to see photos from the opening reception.
©2007 The Newark Public Library