|Saturday, October 15
11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
The Human Services and Recreation Department and the volunteer Latino Heritage Committee invite you to join us for the 18th Annual Latino Heritage Parade and Jamaica (community fair) on Saturday, October 15.
This free family event draws over 1,000 participants and spectators. The parade beings at 11:00 a.m. and is followed by a celebration of cultural activities, food and dance from 12:00 to 4:00 p.m.
The parade starts at the intersection of Los Robles Avenue and Howard Street, then turns west on Washington Boulevard and culminates at La Pintoresca Park with a Jamaica featuring art exhibits, artisans, educational/historical displays, entertainment, food, community booths and much more. This year’s theme is Nuestros Heroes/Our Heroes celebrating the accomplishments of individuals from all professions within the Latino Community.
This year, the Public Health Department will celebrate Be Better promoting better eating, refreshing better, and playing better. You don’t have to be perfect, just #BeBetterPasadena!
Luis J. Rodriguez, Grand Marshal
For over 40 years, Luis J. Rodriguez has been a leader for justice, clean environment, economic equity, and peace at home and in the world. In 1970, he was arrested during the largest peace protest in a community of color at the time, the Chicano Moratorium Against the Vietnam War, and held in murderer’s row of the Hall of Justice jail. Eventually released, Luis was politically transformed from the experience and left a life of crime, drugs and gangs by age 20. To stay out of trouble, Luis worked at Bethlehem Steel, National Lead, St. Regis Paper Company, as well as in construction and a chemical refinery. However, most of U.S. industry was being wiped out by the 1980s.
Luis then became a reporter/photographer for weekly East L.A. newspapers; a daily newspaper in San Bernardino; public radio; and a freelancer. In the early 80s, Luis covered the Contra War in Nicaragua and Honduras as well as indigenous uprisings in Mexico. Luis also worked for the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFL-CIO) in the largest union representation election in U.S. history at the time.
In 1985, he moved to Chicago where he edited and wrote for weekly political newspapers, local publications, and in news radio. He also worked with gang and non-gang youth in Chicago during its most violent period. He has long advocated against the imprisonment of the poor and working class in the U.S. and for restorative justice. In addition, he became active in the thriving Chicago poetry scene, birthplace of Slam Poetry, and founded Tia Chucha Press, now a renowned cross-cultural small press.
Returning to Los Angeles in 2000, Luis and his wife Trini helped create Tia Chucha’s Cultural Center & Bookstore in the northeast San Fernando Valley.
In 2012 Luis became vice-presidential candidate for the U.S. Justice Party with Rocky Anderson for president. In 2014, he ran for California governor, endorsed by the Green Party, Mexican American Political Association, and Justice Party, among others.
Today Luis is Poet Laureate of Los Angeles with 15 books in poetry, children’s literature, fiction, and nonfiction, including the bestselling memoir “Always Running, La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A.” His last memoir is “It Calls You Back: An Odyssey Through Love, Addiction, Revolutions, and Healing,” became a finalist for a 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award. His last poetry book is “Borrowed Bones” released in 2016 by Curbstone Books/Northwestern University Press.
Serafin Espinoza, Community Grand Marshal
Mr. Espinoza is a retired Civil Service professional with 40 years of social work experience. He has knowledge of principles and methods of planning, developing and implementing a variety of human social services programs and practices.
One of his major accomplishments was to assist the City of Pasadena, both politically and as a clinician, to adopt a city policy on children, youth, and families. Mr. Espinoza uses an approach which is both psychosocial and spiritual, and is an experiences coordinator and supervisor of both volunteers and service providers.
Mr. Espinoza has experience with a range of modalities and interventions to serve families, youth and the community in a comprehensive way. He graduated from the University of Southern California with a MSW, and California State University Los Angeles with a Bachelor’s degree in social work.