Mexico is such an inclusive culture that in addition to Mother’s and Father’s Day, they have a holiday dedicated to children as well. El Día de los Niños, or Children’s Day, is always filled with activities, and children look forward to a holiday all their own with fun, gifts and special events.
“In Latin America and some European countries, we have established El Día de los Niños as a day of celebration for our kids. It’s a very well-known celebration in our countries, but we didn’t have that here in the United States,” says Fabiola Hamdan, co-chair of this year’s El Día de los Niños event. “So, we wanted to bring back some traditions and find our way of celebrating it here and at the same time giving the parents the information and resources that – especially those newcomers – need.”
The Latino Children and Families Council will host the annual El Día de los Niños event on Saturday, May 6, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Goodman Community Center on Madison’s East side.
“Given the current climate of uncertainty for our Latino families, it is important for us to continue to bring El Día de los Niños event to our community, not only to celebrate our children but to give parents support and share resources,” Hamdan said. “Make them (the Latino community) see that they are not alone. That we as a community are with them.”
The current climate means this year’s event is not all fun and games — event immigration attorneys and other local organizations are teaming up to help families plan in case of an emergency and to ease the stress of the unexpected.
“Step by Step: Your Family Emergency Plan” is a workshop created by the Latino Children and Families Council, The Latino Health Council, and the Catholic Multicultural Center to help mixed-status families create a concrete plan in the event that a parent or guardian is deported. Filling out caregiver’s authorization affidavit, writing parent authorizations letters for minors, and completing emergency contact forms are all major parts of the plan.
“It’s important for families to be ready in case of these unexpected emergencies, and this will hopefully help them begin to plan for the unexpected,” Hamdan said.
There will also be food, information booths for families, activities for children, and the beloved “parade of nations” where children display their cultural heritage.