Jaqueline Leon walked onto the dimmed stage of the Chase 2010 Latino Cultural Festival and began to describe the story of her people leaving in Mexico.
The echo of wars, unfair murders and social injustices screamed out of her poetry and into the minds of all those who sat listening attentively on Wednesday, August 4.
“This event is very important because it united me with various Latino cultures and took me a step closer into the minds of the many talented poets present today,” said Rosio Ramos, one of the attendees.
The event at Queens Theatre in the Park was hosted by Bonafide Rojas, a poet, musician, teacher, and the author of Pelo Bueno: A Day in the Life of a Nuyorican Poet. His humor and personality kept the audience laughing and entertained all through the open mic night.
“This festival is paving the road for all future immigrants,” said Betsy Lainez. “My poem is called ‘America Mia’ and it is not a protest, but a piece describing my love for this country. We as Latinos do not come here to demand anything, but to share who we are and what we bring with us.”
The night brought excitement as Bernarda Davila, also known as “La Romantica,” raced onto the stage, describing a romantic scene with a passionate embrace.
“I am a river that swims in poetry,” said Davila. “Aside from writing about love, I fight, defending the indigenous people of my country.”
One of the last poets was Rafael Agustin Reyes, who loudly spoke against the injustices of our poorly divided world.
“I am very proud of being a Latino poet,” said Reyes. “I speak of how poorly some of our people live worldwide, and how others are so selfishly wealthy.”
As the night came to an end, all the poets exchanged their contact information and congratulated each other on their achievements.
“Being Latino is having the ambition to overcome any obstacle,” said poet Daniel Bejarano Vargas. “This event was a sensational experience.”