Clevelanders will celebrate its diversity through artistic performance this Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 13 and 14 at the second annual Cleveland One World Festival
. Taking place at the Cleveland Cultural Gardens
at Rockefeller Park, the event will feature a variety of arts and activities for all ages, from a parade and performances on a dozen stages to international sporting competitions and art exhibits. Vendors and food trucks will offer authentic ethnic food and drinks.
But for Clara Jaramillo, the One World Festival holds particular significance. She will become a U.S. citizen during the festival’s naturalization ceremony. Jaramillo is one of 25 people participating in the ceremony at 2 p.m. on Saturday.
“We’re excited about it,” Jaramillo says of becoming a U.S. citizen. “It’s been a long adventure.”
Born in Cali, Colombia, and raised in Medellin since she was eight, Jaramillo moved to San Antonio in 2000 with her husband, Jorge Zapata, for his career as an engineer in the medical field. From San Antonio, Zapata joined Phillips Medical Systems and they moved to San Jose, California, for eight years. They had two sons, Daniel and Nicolas, before they relocated to Cleveland nearly five years ago.
Jaramillo and Zapata settled in Chagrin Falls. “The schools are great, the boys are very happy,” Jaramillo says. “It’s a great place to raise a family. It’s quiet and the quality of life and the schools are much better. We think we’re going to stay here for good.”
Jaramillo is excited about becoming a U.S. citizen. “We’d like to be a part of the system, to be able to vote, to travel the world. As Colombians, we have to apply for visas to go to other countries.”
However, Jaramillo admits she is a bit nervous about the ceremony. “I’m normally very, very shy so it will be interesting,” she says. “It’s nice; it’s going to be a good moment to share with a lot of people.”
Zapata will receive his citizenship in a separate ceremony.