Comite Mexicano de Cleveland has been waiting a long time to be a part of the yearly One World Day at the Cleveland Cultural Gardens, but Mexico is now represented with its own garden and will participate in the One World Day festivities this Sunday, Aug. 29.
The Mexican American population represents the second largest Spanish-speaking community in the Cleveland metropolitan area, says Comite Mexicano de Cleveland executive director Eduardo Rodriguez, second only to the city’s Puerto Rican population.
“We are happy to be a part of the celebration and part of the Cultural Gardens,” Rodriguez says. “This summer we’ve been having events in the Mexico Garden, but [One World Day] is an important part for our group.”
Additionally, he says the Mexican American population is growing in Cleveland, with people moving from places like Texas, Chicago, and Los Angeles. “This is a new generation and they’ve started to look at new cities,” he says. “This is a nice city to start in after college and it’s affordable—and they know it.”
Rodriguez says Comite Mexicano first expressed an interest in joining the Cleveland Cultural Gardens Federation in September 2019 and officially received the invitation to have a garden in January 2020, right before COVID-19 shut everything down.
Rodriguez says they have been hard at work decorating the garden and have a host of activities planned for Sunday—from marching in the Parade of Flags to serving food and hosting cultural workshops.
Activities include cultural dancing, flower arranging, and music, while Rodriguez says food will include authentic tacos, popsicles, and elotes (Mexican street corn).
Mexico is the second Latin American garden to join the Cleveland Cultural Gardens. Columbia joined in 2018, and Rodriguez says they will now work on establishing gardens for Puerto Rico and Peru.
In addition to One World Day, Rodriguez says Comite Mexicano is planning many future cultural activities in the Mexico Cultural Garden.