By Guadalupe Barriga and Joshua Inglada
Mujerez de las Paz had their 18th annual walk and candle vigil last Thursday night.
East Los Angeles College hosted the event to remind people of domestic violence. Supporters participated by meeting at Belvedere Park and walking down Cesar Chavez toward the ELAC Performing Arts Courtyard.
ELAC collaborated with the East Los Angeles Women’s Center to remind people of domestic violence. Supporters participated by meeting at Belvedere Park and walking down Cesar Chavez toward the ELAC Performing Arts Complex, while staff set up the area for the ceremony.
The East Los Angeles Women’s Center counselors and promoters were in charge of spreading the word through the community to bring more people and create awareness.
Volunteers from the ELAWC led the marchers down the sidewalks with chants of “Love shouldn’t hurt. To violence, say no.”
Students, faculty and others helped prepared the event. People outside of ELAC came to support those who have experienced domestic violence.
The ceremony started with Dance Azteca. The native group formed by family members performed a dance routine as Mujerez de Paz made their way in. Supporters and survivors of domestic violence held candles in memory for victims.
Supporters carried posters that said “Say no to domestic violence” or “You are not alone.” The ceremony brought women, men and children together. All were there with the purpose to create awareness.
After the dance troupe finished their performance, lead dancer Adolfo Artega stepped up to thank the crowd for participating. “Unification of our minds and of our spirits, and of our bodies. Don’t let your mind wander off and go through the day going back to things that you did or that you could have done. Live the day now,” Artega said.
When people found a place to sit, Dance Azteca created a circle with candles and smoke danced to the drum beat.
Everyone else kept quiet and observed the dance ritual while holding the signs up and candles created light.
When the performance was over, the leader of Dance Azteca shared the advice to “Don’t leave children alone.”
After his words, the Women’s Center President Barbara Kappos thanked everybody who attended the ceremony and asked for a minute of silence for those who didn’t survive domestic violence.
The Audience closed their eyes and kept complete silence, some even had tears running down their cheeks.
Volunteers handed out fliers from the ELAWC that were filled with words of thanks and facts concerning domestic violence. These facts were taken from the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) website, the nation’s largest anti-sexual organization.
The whole place was lit up by the candles until each person started to blow out his or her candle.
The ELAWC can be reached at 323-526-5819 and ELAWC Rape and Battering Hotline can be reached at 1-800–585-6231.