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Fourth annual Latino Fest benefits low-income students in the valley

Posted: 6:10 PM, Sep 01, 2018
Updated: 2018-09-01 20:18:44-04

The fourth annual Latino Fest takes place in Downtown Boise Saturday, and organizers expect more than a thousand Idahoans to stop by the Basque Block to learn about their culture.

And it's no coincidence that the festival is taking place on the first of this month; September is National Hispanic Heritage Month, and it's also the month that includes many independence days of Latin countries, including Mexico and El Salvador.

The event has one young man feeling more connected to his country than ever.

"That's what, basically, America's about," said Isaac Toledo, part owner of Basilios Tacos, a vendor at the event. "Freedom and having the opportunity to be here and share all of our culture."

This year, the Consulate of Mexico and Hispanic Chamber of Commerce are holding a school supply drive to benefit low-income students.

"It's gonna be a free event, but it's like a ticket, so you can pay with a pen, or with a notebook, or with anything you want," said Odette Gutierrez, event organizer.

Fourth-grader Evelyn Romero says school supplies are important to have.

"You need school supplies like, to, do projects and share stuff like with friends and people," she said.

And Toledo agrees. "With the low-income people that are coming in from Mexico, they don't know where to start, they don't what they need to start with."

Gutierrez says the motivation to include a school supply drive in this year's event came from a recognized need in neighboring communities.

"I see that a lot of need is on the low-income schools," Gutierrez said. "In Nampa and Caldwell, there is a lot of Latinos as well. So we can help them, like, doing this in this event."