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The United Latin Festival of Haverstraw, Inc., located in Rockland County, NY celebrated its 9th annual festival in the Village of Haverstraw last Sunday, August 4th, where through the different participating representatives, each Latin country was able to showcase their culture.

Johan Rosario and his wife Indiana Rosario were the Grand Marshals of the year, chosen for their great achievements in business and tremendous help to the community. They are hailed as outstanding examples of success through hard-work and dedication.

On the other hand, immigration attorney, Ms. Gisela Chavez, was chosen as Humanitarian of the Year for her great contribution to helping the youth and the immigrant community. Ms. Chavez serves as president of Immigrant Hands, Inc., a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to helping the immigrant community, within and outside Rockland County; through free legal services, victim assistance and community outreach programs. She is also one of the notable pro bono attorneys that run the Immigration Office in the Village of Spring Valley, NY.

The Godmother of the parade was Ms. Elizabeth Rosa Santiago who is the current Executive Director of the Center for Safety and Change located in New City, NY. The Center for Safety & Change is a victim assistance provider in Rockland County, serving victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, and all other crimes, such as elder abuse and hate crimes. Ms. Santiago is also an activist working on social justice issues for over 20 years. She is recognized for her expertise on issues of domestic violence, sexual assault and violence against women.

The event started at Emeline Park on Sunday, August 4th, at noon with a parade, which featured Dominican, Mexican, Puerto Rican, and Ecuadorian groups, among other Latino cultures. Also present were Town Supervisor, Howard Phillips, Village of Haverstraw Mayor Michael Kohut, Rockland County Clerk, Paul Piperato, Rockland County Legislator Michael Grant, West Haverstraw Mayor Robert R. D’Amelio; among other prominent attendees.

The event concluded with a festival at the grounds of Haverstraw Elementary School on Grant Street, where artists from different Latin countries wowed the crowd with various Latin songs and dances. The success of the event was made possible through the efforts of the United Latin Festival officers and committee members and generous donations of its sponsors.

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