Mano en Mano hosts 14th annual Mother's Day celebration
Fourteen years ago, a group of immigrant farmworkers in Milbridge gathered to honor mothers in their community. This celebration continues today in the form of Mano en Mano’s annual Mother’s Day event, which took place this year on May 12th in the gymnasium of the Milbridge Elementary School. Nearly two hundred people joined in the celebration, including members of the immigrant community in Washington County along with friends and allies from across the Downeast region. Guests were encouraged to bring a dish or beverage to share in a potluck dinner, and food ranged from sweet dessert tamales to baked macaroni and cheese. Volunteers at the event staffed a kids’ activity table where children could make crafts to give as gifts to the mothers in their lives.
Christina Ocampo, Advocacy and Client Services Director at Mano en Mano, explained the objectives of the Mother’s Day celebration: “On this day we want to uplift single mothers, single fathers, and parents that can’t be with their children because of borders, walls, or bars.”
Another goal of the event is to share cultural traditions to younger generations, traditions that were showcased in performances by local talent. A highlight from the evening was original music performed by Luis Weston, who is originally from Puerto Rico and now resides in Machias. Additionally, Paola Delgado choreographed a traditional Mexican dance that was performed by four young girls. Alahna Roach also led a chorus of pre-school and kindergarten-aged children in presenting a song called “Mommy,” sang in both English and Spanish.
Many local businesses also participated in the event either as vendors or through donating raffle items. Fire Chicks Photography of Ellsworth ran a photobooth where guests could have family portraits taken and Milbridge-based DJ EJ provided the music and lights for the evening. Mothers in attendance could enter their name in a raffle to win prizes from Riverlilly, the Milbridge House Restaurant, Vazquez Mexican Takeout, and Roberto’s Auto Shop. The event concluded with a dance party featuring Latin music genres like banda, bachata, and reggaetón.
Check out some more photos from the event here: