More than 75 people joined together at St. Paul Catholic Church to celebrate the Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe this past Sunday evening. (Courtesy / Delores Gonzalez)

More than 75 people joined together at St. Paul Catholic Church to celebrate the Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe this past Sunday evening. (Courtesy / Delores Gonzalez)

Juneau Hispanic community celebrates the Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe

It’s the group’s first time hosting the event in Juneau

This story has been updated to correctly identify Delores Cervantes and include the number of people who attended the event.

This past Sunday more than 200 people joined together at St. Paul Catholic Church to celebrate the Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, an important celebration for people in the Mexican community.

The event was hosted by the Juneau Hispanic Ministry, a recently formed group that invites people in Juneau to celebrate Hispanic culture and traditions. The Sunday event featured a rosary, holy mass, a play and dinner, with tamales, barbacoa, beans and Mexican rice donated by the owner of Mar y Sol restaurant.

Imanol Vera (right) smiles for a photo after staring as Juan Diego in the Sunday evening play a part of a celebration of the Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe at St. Paul Catholic Church. (Courtesy / Delores Gonzalez)

Imanol Vera (right) smiles for a photo after staring as Juan Diego in the Sunday evening play a part of a celebration of the Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe at St. Paul Catholic Church. (Courtesy / Delores Gonzalez)

Delores Cervantes, the coordinator of the group, said the event was a major success and she is excited to spread the word about the group to the Juneau community to invite more people to join in on future celebrations. She said Lady of Guadalupe is a very important celebration for the Hispanic community, and she was happy to be able to share it with all people in Juneau.

The Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe is a widely celebrated catholic holiday that commemorates the meeting of Mexican peasant Juan Diego and Mexico’s patron saint Virgin Mary in Mexico City on Dec. 9 and 12, 1531. Our Lady of Guadalupe is often seen as a symbol of religious devotion, identity and patriotism for people of Mexican heritage.

“It’s a very important celebration and it means a lot to us,” she said. “It means our belief, our traditions — it means everything for us.”

Cervantes, who has lived in Juneau for 35 years and is originally from Mexico, emphasized that anyone in Juneau is welcome to join the group to celebrate and learn more about the Hispanic community and said the group plans to host community celebrations next year for holidays like Cinco De Mayo and Mexican Independence Day.

“Our main goal is to grow up as a community, we welcome everybody,” she said. “I feel that right now our community has been kind of quiet and we want to raise our voice and say ‘we’re here,’ that’s our main goal.”

• Contact reporter Clarise Larson at clarise.larson@juneauempire.com or (651)-528-1807. Follow her on Twitter at @clariselarson.

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