SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - Hundreds came to San Lorenzo Park in Santa Cruz for Senderos 13th annual Guelaguetza celebration.
Senderos is a non-profit organization giving Latino children free dance and music lessons. They also offer tutoring and college scholarships.
Director Fe Silva-Robles says behind the dancing and music, "we are developing a program where the kids can be connected with their culture. We truly believe as educators that connection with your culture makes you feel and makes you be successful.”
The program is offering nine $2,000 scholarships for students this year, "we have a big percent of students who are low income, so the students when they are ready to go to college, they are facing a financial situation so we are helping them with scholarships,” says Silva-Robles.
Today's celebration, which draws people from as far away as Los Angeles, is the organizations biggest fundraiser of the year and helps fund the scholarships.
Lindsey Aquino-Robles is one of the many who have benefited from Senderos. She says she joined the program at a very young age, "I’ve been here since the beginning and it’s just amazing to see how much we’ve progressed, how much we’ve grown.”
Aquino-Robles says if it were not for Senderos, "i’I've been able to do so many things, had so many opportunities, I graduated high school last year, this is my first year at Saint Mary’s college, I don’t think I would have been able to do it without Senderos."
The Guelaguetza is an annual celebration of the traditions of Oaxaca, Mexico. Organizers say they've had to change venues several times to accommodate all of the people and vendors.
For more information on Senderos click here.