Book festival brings locals together

By Dulce Carrillo and Megan G. Razzetti 

The Los Angeles Latino Book and Family Festival provided educational fun for local families on Saturday in the Performing and Fine Arts Complex at East Los Angeles College.

Latino Literacy Now, Go East L.A. and ELAC hosted the event which included Dia de Los Muertos celebrations, authors,seminars and food booths.

“I brought my daughter to have her get involved with other kids and to bond with her as well,” said Paloma Reyes, East Los Angeles resident and mother of one.

Different departments on campus sold food and beverages while Latino authors sat at their tables to do book signings.

“It’s great to get the Latino families to come out and get their kids into reading,” said Creative Director Javier Hernandez,of the Latino Comics Expo.

Hernandez also performed a live seminar  called “Magic, Fantasy and Dia de los Muertos” with historical fiction author,Belinda Vasquez Garcia and Kevin Gerard who wrote “Conor and the Crossworlds.”

Inside room 201, in the P2 building, seminars gave attendees the chance to interact with authors and have pictures taken with them as well.

There were four seminars that took place one after the other. The seminar on creative non-fiction and memoirs was presented by Jim Marquez, Sheana Ochoa, Fred Rivera, Lucia de Garcia, Robert Chavez and Latin Thunder.

Authors gave attendees  tips about writing books and how to get the Latino community more involved with expressing themselves by writing.

The second seminar led by Hernandez involved the old myths and religious beliefs from Latino culture that have been created into fictional characters.

“The Poet’s Corner” was the third seminar  performed by Veronica Reyes, Sean Hill, Carolina Prieto Molana, Natalia Trevino, Garcia and Antonieta Villamil.

The writers talked about poetry being a strategy in expressing identity and letting emotions out.

Nelson A. Castillo, a writer and lawyer, talked about Latinos having it hard in the nation during the seminar called,“The Green Card: How to obtain permanent residency in the United States.” He went further on to say during the seminar that no one should be restricted to get a green card.

According to Castillo, everyone who migrats to the U.S should learn the laws instead of listening to others that want them out of the country.

“It was so exciting to see so many children hearing the stories, the poetry, the cuentos and seeing the parents dragging them to touching language,” said Trevino, author of “Lavando La Dirty Laundry.”

“Reading is the best thing. It will open up the mind, get  you more educated, intelligent and more aware and curious about the world,” said Hernandez. “Parents should get their children involved with reading, not only to receive all of that, but to spend time together learning.”

Despite the rain and the stands being held with force to avoid the wind knocking it over, families filled the complex area throughout the entire event.

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