Parranda event raises funds for hurricane relief efforts

GATES — Jovino González said the tradition of parrandas — akin to caroling from house to house — remains strong in his native Puerto Rico, especially in the countryside, and will continue even as the island recovers from Hurricane Maria.
“They may not be well-lit with (lack of) electricity, but they’ll be more lively,” he said of the festivities.
González was the guest troubador during the fourth-annual “Aires Navideños: Parranda Jibara Puertorriqueña” Dec. 1 at The Diplomat banquet center. Organizer Felix Martínez said proceeds from the event would be donated to hurricane relief. The two became friends during the Puerto Rican Festival about a decade ago when González performed at the festival.
“Nostalgia keeps the Puerto Rican spirit strong here,” González said.
The Dec. 1 event also honored several local individuals for their contributions to maintaining the Latino culture: Musicians José Mora, Xavier Torres and Hector Díaz; Spanish-radio pioneer Domingo Martínez; and Nydia Padilla-Rodríguez, founder and artistic director of Borinquen Dance Theatre.

(EMC photos by Jeff Witherow)
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