Fiesta DC by Kevin Lutes

While waking up early on an overcast Sunday on September 25/2011, travelling into the nation’s capitol to learn about Hispanic Culture was the farthest thing from my mind. Rather, my stomach was preoccupied with “how can I get my hands on some free chipotle, today”.  After rounding up my roommate and a friend, I boarded the metro, questioning why I was even going to this fiesta; all the while I had tin-foil-wrapped-goodness preoccupying my mind. As I arrived at the fiesta, I noticed the diversity of the people. I saw event organizers as well as businessmen dressed in suits, taking surveys, inspecting stalls and enjoying the sights and amusements of the event. There were local merchants peddling their goods, businesses handing out employment fliers, restaurant’s serving their foods and families escaping the monotony of the week. All of these individuals epitomizing the ideals that we have so ground into our psyches as the “American Dream”: family, community and an industrious attitude. As I walked through the mass of humanity that congested the street, people bumped and jostled each other, all the while exchanging a civil “excuse me” or its equivalent in Spanish. There were crowds congregating around bands playing contemporary songs with salsa and bosa nova rhythms. Finally, after touring the fiesta and admiring the peoples and cultures of Latin America for an hour I decided to head back. Yet, as I was about to leave, the phrase “free pollo compero”, entered my ears, completing my cultural and gastro-intestinal journey in DC.

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