Monday, November 3, 2014

Artfest in Jupiter

This article by Chris Persaud, click title for link, shows that he's been submitting a number of stories from Jupiter lately. As you know, Mr. Persaud is the latest Lake Worth beat reporter. He seems to be spreading his wings and we all wish him the best. Anyhow, Mr. Persaud reported on the Artfest in Jupiter. Let's hope that more events like this could happen in Lake Worth:
"[S]eventh annual Artfest, hosted by El Sol Center, a nonprofit company that helps integrate immigrants. Artfest, which this year was held on Saturday and Sunday, celebrates and displays culture and art from Guatemala, Mexico and other Latin American countries. A few hundred people turned up to see and buy paintings, jewels, food and yogurt made by local artists and businesses."
Later in the article he writes:
"Artfest is meant to bring immigrants and Americans together in harmony, said El Sol Executive Director Jocelyn Skolnik."
And later:
“Part of our mission is to integrate these people,” she [El Sol Executive Director Jocelyn Skolnik] said.
El Sol offers English classes, helps immigrants find work, helps process legal paperwork and offers hot meals to immigrants."
Here is a promotional item from the El Sol Artfest that finished yesterday:

Note the number and quality of sponsors. Has the Lake Worth Guatemalan-Maya Center ever staged such an event? An event with such community involvement and sponsors? You must admit the El Sol event is impressive. Many kudos to the sponsors and volunteers.

A little over two weeks ago the Vice Chairman of the Guatemalan-Maya Center in Lake Worth, Father Frank O'Loughlin, joined a protest against the PBSO with the help of the Lake Worth Anarchist community. I would be curious the relationship between "El Sol" and the Jupiter Police Department? Would the El Sol Director be O.K. with a sign that read, "Jupiter Police are Worthless"? Here is a picture of Father O'Loughlin at a protest in Lake Worth on October 29:

It would seem there are two approaches by two different communities with respect to our immigrant/undocumented neighbors. You have El Sol in Jupiter and the Guatemalan-Maya Center (GMC) in Lake Worth. Kudos to Mr. Persaud for his enlightening article. Journalism is reporting the news and if that reporting forces you to think, that is journalism at its best.

For my part in the weeks and months to come, we'll be doing research and a trip to El Sol in Jupiter. We the citizens in Lake Worth have some very hard questions to ask: Do we continue to support the GMC? If not, do we reach out to others like El Sol to help us? Do we want our Guatemalan neighbors, for example, to stay Guatemalan or become American? Are there other people outside of that group, that call Lake Worth home, that make it difficult for this process to happen?

In the meantime, if you think of any community events like this that have happened in Lake Worth, please email me with the details and pictures, if possible. If there are any future ones planned, let me know the dates so that the word can get out.

Ultimately though, this discussion is about a devoted people who risked everything to make their children's lives better. Here in Lake Worth, Florida and elsewhere in south Florida.