By Priscilla Soto Vargas
This event took place in Wheaton, Maryland, where there is a large Hispanic community. Since this was a Salvadorian festival, the majority of the event attendees were from El Salvador. However, we talked to people from Honduras, Mexico, India, the United States, etc. Thank you to Annabelle (Cuban background) who connected us with Alexandra, a nutrition student in El Salvador, who sent us El Salvadorian recipes to hand out. This is truly an international world.
This experience was different from the previous outreach booth I did due to the fact that the Spanish language was heavily used. Therefore, Karen (Mexican background), Laura, and I were able to apply our language skills with those who were interested in obtaining more information about vegetarianism. At the same time, we were exposed to Salvadorian food, drinks, desserts, crafts, as well as live music.
Some people at the festival seemed unaware of vegetarianism; others came to us and proudly mentioned that they didn’t eat meat. One lady came with her eight-year-old daughter and said to me, “We don’t eat any meat at our house, and I would like to buy a book with new recipes in English because it helps my kids improve their reading skills.” I personally thought that was a great way to bond with your children while they learn to read and cook.
Being a native of Costa Rica, I understand that Hispanics can be shy and sometimes feel intimidated to ask questions, especially when they have to speak English. Therefore, I am sure they liked the fact that we spoke their native language, and also that we offered the Vegetarian Journal to them.
Hispanic families tend to be very united. At this event I observed that parents, grandparents, and children were present enjoying the Salvadorian Festival to the fullest. We handed out plenty of our Spanish vegetarian coloring booklets to children. It truly put a smile on their faces.
This was a great experience for us since it gave us the chance to observe, interact, and learn from a different culture.
If you would like to volunteer at VRG booths, please contact Soren at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to donate towards vegetarian outreach, please donate at http://www.vrg.org/donate