SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — To mark National Hispanic Heritage Month, NewsChannel 9 is highlighting the Latinx community in Central New York and introducing you to people rooted in their traditions.
Francisco Suarez has a passion for visual media and has been using his skills to teach students at SUNY Oswego as an associate professor. Growing up in Venezuela, he pictured his future career at a very young age. Now he teaches students of all backgrounds at Oswego, as well as during a visual storytelling camp at WCNY, Ten talented young individuals from the Syracuse City School District were selected for the program. When he’s not teaching, you can catch Suarez hosting his podcast “From Suarez’s Basement,” a project now in its sixth season which he started during the pandemic.
Laura Cueva believes in finding beauty in whatever space she’s in. She brought her talents to America from Mexico 20 years ago from Guadalajara, Mexico. Her love for design is rooted in family, her career inspired by her older sister who shares a love for interior decoration. Her business took off in 2012; “Interior Innovations” creates modernized hospital and corporate spaces. For the last few years, she’s been renovating and redesigning the building she purchased on East Genesee Street in Syracuse. There she transformed the building adding to each “room” showcased a piece of Mexico.
Cayetano Valenzuela is a Syracuse-based artist whose mission is to fill a void with murals, paintings, and sculptures to tell untold stories. His hope is to expand the narrative of how people see Chicanos and Latinos. Working with Syracuse University’s La Casita, Valenzuela has been leading workshops for their summer youth program where children produce artwork that reflects Latino culture, instilling creativity, resilience, and empowerment.
Elisa Morales always felt like the Fair was missing something when she attended the Great New York State Fair as a little girl. Now, she’s the Superintendent of the Fair’s first “Latino Village”. She believes Latinos add to the spice of America’s melting pot, so the effort to put it together is worth it. Beyond the celebration of music, food, culture, and crafts, Morales has transformed the village into a can’t-miss attraction captivating fairgoers of all ages.
You can see the stories in our Hispanic Heritage special in the video above.
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