September 15 through October 15 is Hispanic Heritage Month. The dates are significant because they coincide with the anniversaries of national independence in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, while September 16 is the national holiday of Mexico, and September 18 of Chile. In Spain, October 12 is celebrated as Fiesta Nacional de España and also marks Columbus’ discovery of the Americas for the Spanish Crown. Great Spanish icons of the high arts have created billions of dollars worth of masterpieces held in museums around the world, including the works of Diego Velázquez, Francisco de Goya, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali and El Greco. Works by all of these artists have graced the hallowed halls of the Detroit Institute of Arts. The Detroit Symphony Orchestra will present beautiful works celebrating the Hispanic spirit in its upcoming season, including Gershwin’s “Cuban Overture,” Piazzola’s “Sinfonia de Buenos Aires” and Copland’s “Three Latin American Sketches.” The Michigan Philharmonic’s season devotes an entire concert to Hispanic music; the performance, called Fiesta, includes Alice Gomez’ “Los Voladores,” Silvestre Revueltas’ “Sensemayá,” Ney Rosauro’s “Concerto for Marimba,” Carlos Chávez’ “Symphony No. 2” and Arturo Márquez’ “Danzón No. 2.” For heartwarming, person-to-person contact and immersion into Hispanic culture, you will enjoy any of these celebrations.
Hispanic Bar Association
31455 Southfield Road, Suite 103
Beverly Hills, MI 48025
The Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce reaches out to hundreds of thousands of Hispanic businesses and consumers. It helps employment and diversity within the state of Michigan and hosts events every year including an annual golf outing which is sure to bring up competition levels in all who participate. The organization has a Michigan Hispanic Fund which helps generate future entrepreneurs and leaders. Hundreds of businesses are already involved, and you can surely contact them for any information.
Vicente’s Cuban Cuisine
1250 Library St
Detroit, MI 48226
Who knew Downtown Detroit could be a destination for authentic Cuban food and salsa dancing. Since 2005, the Vazquez family and their Chilean Chef Roberto Caceres have been serving up great dishes. Every Friday and Saturday night they host salsa dancing and lessons.
Society of Sant Jordi
401 S. Main St.
Royal Oak, MI 48067
Sant Jordi is the patron of Catalonia in Spain. The Society of Sant Jordi is sponsored by a Catalonian Spanish wine master, Núria Garrote Esteve. He is also the owner of Elie Wine Company. Sant Jordi events are almost always enriched by tastings from the vintner’s boutique labels and served in elegant stemmed crystal. Venerated not only in Spain, Saint George is also the patron of England, where his name is highly esteemed: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge named their first-born Prince George, an appellation with a time-honored legacy within the royal family. The Sant Jordi Society sponsors some of the classiest soirees offered in metropolitan Detroit area and are lavish, luxurious ways to connect with Hispanic culture.
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Havana Nights Yacht Party
130 Atwater St.
Detroit, MI 48226
Date: Sept. 11, 2013
Infinity and Ovation Yachts offer scores of themed cruises throughout the year, starting with Cinco de Mayo in May and continuing through Oktoberfest, but one of the hottest Hispanic celebrations is the annual Havana Nights Cruise. The decadent menu includes pinchos, ensalada cubana, churrasco, buñuelos, tropical fruits and cheeses. The premium open bar features exotic drinks and island favorites, just like those served in Havana back in the pre-Marxist days when millionaires cruised their yachts to elegant Cuban galas.
Visit Cuba: The Pearl of the Antilles
Royal Spain Tours from Michigan
Newly legal and federally approved, travelers can visit Cuba through a unique people-to-people program called Detroit Meets Havana. Unlike a vacation where tourists spend solitary days on lounge chairs beneath palm trees on Cuban beaches, this program is designed to meet Cuban citizens face to face in the cultural sites of the island nation, such as the Camagüey Ballet Company, Old Havana, Finca Vigia (Hemingway’s home) and Cuban Institute of Music. Non-stop flights to Cuba leave from the metropolitan Detroit area (Windsor International Airport) on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and chartered flights specifically timed to the tours depart from Miami as needed. The People to People program is an American program, tailored for Americans and designed in America to promote Cuban culture.
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Romero Anton Montalban-Anderssen is the winner of the 2009 first prize in journalism from the Detroit Working Writers Organization. He has seasonal residency in Detroit Michigan, The Italian Riviera, and Honolulu Hawaii. His work can be found at Examiner.com.