NEW YORK — Colorfully costumed dancers, floats, and music bands marched more than 20 blocks to celebrate Ecuador’s upcoming Independence Day on August 10, 2008. The parade took place in Queens on Sunday, with thousands of Ecuadorians proudly waving their flags.
“It’s special to be here,” said Adriana Martinez, who was participating in the parade for the first time. “You get to see other people who come from your same country, you get to intermingle with your people’s cultures and colors, and it’s nice to carry the flag.”
With two hours even before the parade started, the streets were lined with people anticipating the start of the parade. One of the early birds, Diana Villa, came far away from Westchester County. When Epoch Times reporters caught up with Villa, she said that she had already been waiting for an hour.
“It reminds me of where I used to live, what we see there is every day, but here, once a year,” said Villa. According to Villa, she came early because she thought that there were going to be a lot of people, and that she wanted to see the dancing and the culture at display.
According to Wlison Delacaden, one of the organizers for the parade, there was an estimated 25,000 people participating in the parade, with 500 million worldwide viewers watching.
“Today, we share our culture to the people of New York. We’re showing all of our different costumes, our different foods and our diversity because we have 21 different ethnic groups in Ecuador,” said Monica Palacios, Queen of the Ecuadorian Civic Committee of New York. Palacios has lived in the United States for three years. This is her second time participating in the annual Ecuadorian Parade.
The Ecuadorian Parade and accompanying festival takes place in Queens annually, and has shared Ecuadorian culture with New York since 1984.
“It’s my nationality and I’m proud to be here in the parade,” said Gina Pazmino, who is Ms. Ecuador 2008. It was her first time participating in the parade. “I’m honored to be here.”