On, Sunday April 28, we gathered for our end-of-year Latino Family Celebration. It's an occasion to say goodbye to our graduating seniors and welcome the new Latino families. The flags of every Latin American nation decorated the Pool Patio as we celebrated the diversity within our own community. Ms. Valdes and Mr. Gonzales put together games, which both kids and parents played, and enjoyed beautiful artwork by some of our Middle School students. We also honored Dave Velasquez (Mr. V) whose contribution to Latino families has been invaluable, and who was also responsible for the first Latino Family Potluck 14 years ago.
The energy of the current families meeting new families, kindergarteners and middle schoolers meeting high schoolers, was wonderful! The music playing in the background, thanks to Brentwood School's very own Nick B. added to the festivities, the churros and paletas complemented the tacos, tostadas and the rest of the menu, and an exciting game of Loteria was played by all.
The song "Stand by Me," was sung by Bryan M. and Paola S. accompanied with guitarist Andrew S. The graduating seniors spoke about what the Latino Student Association means to them, a moving poem in Spanish was read by Paola S., which talked about saying goodbye to your country of origin, and learning to love a new one. Celebrating our graduating Seniors, Brian A., Jessica D., Darielle E., and Sammy V. for all of their accomplishments. The incoming El Nido parent leaders were introduced and then energized the crowd by asking them to get involved next year, continuing with the existing activities and creating new ones. Finally, Elena Cardenas and El Nido paid a moving tribute to me, honoring my commitment to both LSA and El Nido—I was very moved.
El Nido would like to thank the facilities staff, Javier and Alex, for helping with the set-up, and Nicole for her event expertise. Also many thanks to the administration, faculty and staff, the Parent Association, and all our families who turnout in big numbers, with food and desserts. It was a wonderful and joyous way to begin saying goodbye to this school year.
As I graduate with my son Sammy, I am a proud El Nido member since Elena Cardenas proposed the idea of creating a group for Latino parents five years ago. Participating in dozens of activities (which somehow always include delicious food) has been one of the most gratifying experiences of my life. To have a group that extends a heartfelt welcome to our Latino friends has meant the world to me. El Nido embodies all the Core Values of Brentwood School and we add one more: inclusivity. I will never forget my El Nido friends and family. I have sad tears but I also have happy tears and can't wait to hear about the next chapters in El Nido vibrant life.
Click here to view moments from the event.