ORANGE COUNTY, Florida. – Hispanic Heritage Month is underway and the Orange County Library System is hosting events to celebrate Latinx cultures.

“It took me a good part of adulthood to find my way through the pages of books and I’m so glad that there are now children’s books and picture books. Even adult books in all genres, ”said Bookstagramer Carmen Alvarez.

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Alvarez is a first generation Cuban American and calls herself a “Bookstagramer”, reading Latinx books and posting reviews on social media. She said the Orange County library system provides a wide variety of books in Spanish with characters representing many Latinx cultures.

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“I think it’s important that libraries are constantly trying to find stories that reflect a myriad of backgrounds, so that people understand that not all Latinxes are one people, they are people who have a myriad of backgrounds. ‘different identities and experiences in life,’ Alvarez mentioned.

For Hispanic Heritage Month, OCLS is hosting several free virtual events with activities for all age groups.

“It’s not just about books. We are more like a community center. For the little ones we have a bilingual story hour, for the teens we make paper molas art and we have live performances, ”said Aimee Andujar, OCLS Traffic Manager.

Virtual cooking classes are also offered, focusing on Latinx cuisine. OCLS kicked off Hispanic Heritage Month with a cooking class for “Cuisine Corner,” cooking Mofongo, a traditional Puerto Rican dish with plantains as the main ingredient.

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Several branches present works of art and exhibits for Hispanic Heritage Month.

Alvarez is also involved, moderating a panel of Latinx authors on September 23. Alvarez encourages everyone to participate in the events, not just those that are part of the Latinx culture.

“I think learning more about communities that are not yours or about a community that is yours not only teaches you, but opens your heart and mind to different experiences,” Alvarez said.

OCLS will be hosting events and activities for Hispanic Heritage Month through October 15.

Click here for a list of events related to Hispanic Heritage Month.

You can sign up for a virtual library card by clicking here.

Copyright 2021 by WKMG ClickOrlando – All rights reserved.

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