Updated: Feb 24
Angelo Solera established Nuestras Raices Inc. because he realized that you have to create something different to change the conversation.
Baltimore, Md. — Nuestras Raices Inc. is the brainchild of Angelo Solera, a native of Madrid, Spain, who moved to Baltimore when he was 17 years old. For the last 25 years, Angelo has worked in Baltimore as a Latino community activist, and healthcare professional. He grew tired of hearing the narrative spread on local, national, and social media—that Latinos are illegal aliens, undocumented, criminals, rapists, and come to America to steal American jobs.
Angelo established Nuestras Raices Inc. in February of 2019 because he realized that you have to create something different to change the conversation. To do that, you have to create an organization that can redirect the narrative. That is why Nuestras Raices Inc.’s purpose is to focus on the contributions the Hispanic/Latino have made and continue making in this country but often overlooked.
In 2019, Nuestras Raices Inc. launched the first Latino Parade of Nations in East Baltimore. The parade started at the 4100 block of Eastern Ave. in Highlandtown. More than 20 nations were represented, including Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Panama, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Spain, Peru, Uruguay, Colombia, Ecuador, Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, Brazil, Venezuela, and Bolivia. Participants walked along Eastern Ave. towards the heart of the Latino community in Patterson Park, where the celebration and festival continued. “The Hispanic/Latino community has participated in many festivals and parades throughout the years with other organizations, but we thought that it was time for us to hold our own parade,” says Nuestras Raices Inc. Founder Angelo Solera. “It sends a message that says: we are here to stay.”
In 2020, Nuestras Raices Inc. was planning their second annual parade and festival called Fiesta Baltimore when everything shut down due to COVID. "Even though COVID-19 had affected the Latino community disproportionately, it was important to host our parade," said Angelo Solera. "Our board would not be deterred in finding a safe and socially distance way to hold the event." After looking at different options, the board members of Nuestras Raices Inc. decided to host a caravan. By hosting a caravan, the organization did not have to apply for a permit as one would for a parade since they would only use one side of the street. And that is how Caravana Fiesta Baltimore was born.
During Caravana Fiesta Baltimore, many people stopped and started taking pictures of all the cars that were slowly driving down Eastern Ave. Many in the community thought the caravan was a safe and positive way to demonstrate the Hispanic/Latino cultural contributions in the Baltimore metropolitan area.
At the end of the event, there was a brief social distance gathering where Angelo Solera was able to acknowledge the support of the many groups and organizations who participated in the caravan and the financial backing of Baltimore Votes, who partnered with Nuestras Raices to get out the Latino vote during the event.
As the news spread that it was possible to conduct a safe cultural event, groups such as Creative Alliance and Friends of Patterson Park, who canceled their parade, approached Nuestras Raices Inc. to host the Halloween - Dia De Los Muertos Caravan.
In the three-years that Nuestras Raices Inc. has been in existence, they have shifted the narrative of the Hispanic/Latino community.
If you want to partner with Nuestras Raices Inc. or connect with the different cultural groups in their network, visit www.nuestrasraicesinc.org.
About Nuestras Raices Inc.
Nuestras Raices Inc. is a Hispanic/Latino community-based cultural organization in Baltimore City. The organization’s mission is to educate, preserve and promote the richness and diversity of the art, culture, heritage, and the contributions the community has made within the Baltimore metropolitan region.
Nuestras Raices Inc.’s goal is to change the Hispanic/Latino community’s narrative and misconception through cultural & artistic events, including art shows, musical performances, caravans, parades, festivals, workshops & conferences.
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