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Hispanic community in Utah to be celebrated with unique festival this weekend

Posted at 8:56 AM, Sep 07, 2023

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s rich and vibrant Hispanic community will be celebrated at the Hispanic Health and Heritage Festival.

The event takes place Saturday, September 9 at The Gateway in Salt Lake City and gets underway with a parade at 11 a.m.

WEEKEND EVENTS: See the full list of other community events happening across Utah this weekend

Music, traditional dance, and food representing various cultures from Latin America will be the main attractions at the festival.

Organizers also hope the event opens conversations about helping those who are uninsured get access to health care.

“Celebrating being Hispanic is part of taking care of ourselves,” said Iris Curiel, a health access assistant with the Utah Health Policy Project.

She, along with several organizations, will be busy at the festival connecting people to healthcare.

“We want them to come and ask,” Curiel said. “That’s going to be the perfect opportunity to raise a hand and to go and reach out to those organizations and get questions answered for free.”

A 2022 report from the U.S. Census Bureau found nearly 18% of Hispanic people in the United States do not have healthcare.

Curiel believes lowering that number will be a benefit to the community – especially children.

In her experience, connecting people to affordable healthcare isn’t as difficult as some may think and getting people covered results in peace of mind and security.

“To have that inner peace, knowing that they are covered, knowing that there is a place where they can take their children, knowing that there is a place where they can take care of themselves if they find themselves being sick,” she said.

The festival is free to attend.