(Jim Diers Photo) The upcoming marketplace presented by Comunidad Latina de Vashon is the second of 2021. This summer, another outdoor marketplace at the Sheffield Building also offered food, gifts, and community fun.

(Jim Diers Photo) The upcoming marketplace presented by Comunidad Latina de Vashon is the second of 2021. This summer, another outdoor marketplace at the Sheffield Building also offered food, gifts, and community fun.

Head out to a lively Latino marketplace this weekend

The event is the third seasonal Mercado presented by Comunidad Latina de Vashon.

Comunidad Latina de Vashon will present “Noche de Luces,” an outdoor Latino market, from 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11, in the Sheffield Building’s parking lot at 18850 SW 103rd Ave.

It’s a chance to support local Latino businesses and entrepreneurs on Vashon, in a festive, outdoor atmosphere that includes arts, music and a delicious variety of Latin American food.

The event is the third seasonal Mercado presented by Comunidad Latina de Vashon and organized in large part by youth and adult leaders of the organization. This summer, a Mercado was presented at the same location.

All ages are welcome to the event, which will be held outdoors and inside open tents. Attendees can also warm up by dancing some salsa or cumbias, or by finding a spot next to an outdoor heater.

Cindi Hernadez, who is part of the group, said that she hopes islanders will attend and partake of everything offered up at the event.

“Ever wonder what the holidays are like in our culture?” Hernandez asked. “Come celebrate with us, the spirit of Christmas — from twinkling lights to amazing homemade food that’s truly comforting, and crafts made with love, like my abuelita’s hug.”

At the event, Hernandez said, islanders won’t be able to resist moving their hips to the music that is being played on loudspeakers and also be able to share in the delight of kids lining up for the piñata.

“Come support the Latino community’s brilliance and hard, dedicated work,” she said. “Everyone is welcome, mi casa su casa.”

Comunidad Latina de Vashon works within a framework of consensus to celebrate and support the vibrant and accomplished youth and families of the island’s Latino community, building community leadership and power.

For years, the group’s efforts have been seen in lively ways including participation in Vashon’s Strawberry Festival Parade and other community events. But Comunidad also works behind the scenes in many ways to support Latino families on Vashon and beyond. During the pandemic, Comunidad has organized vaccination education, creating bilingual infographics with the Union of Concerned Scientists, which are now being used nationwide.

In response to the impacts of COVID-19, the group also did outreach for local rent assistance efforts and created its own programs for economic development and transformation.

Comunidad’s youth-led programs include lively marketplaces, such as one to be offered on Dec. 11, get-out-the-vote efforts, and peer-to-peer tutoring and support services.

For years, with efforts increasing during the pandemic, Comunidad has also advocated for the improvement of equity practices within Vashon public schools.

Find out more about the group and “Noche de Luces,” at facebook.com/ComunidadLatinaVashon.


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