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Puerto Rican Day Parade

Taking pride in their heritage
New York Teacher
UFT members came out in force to demonstrate their Puerto Rican pride.
Jonathan Fickies

UFT members came out in force to demonstrate their Puerto Rican pride.

Eddie Concepcion, a paraprofessional at PS 273 in Brooklyn, gets into the spirit
Jonathan Fickies

Eddie Concepcion, a paraprofessional at PS 273 in Brooklyn, gets into the spirit as he makes his entrance onto the parade route.

The sweltering heat was a challenge, but members marching in the city’s 60th annual Puerto Rican Day Parade on June 11 kept their cool by chasing the shade, drinking lots of water and using scissors to customize their UFT parade T-shirts for maximum ventilation. “It’s important to be here today,” said Marie Kallo, the chapter leader and a 6th-grade English teacher at IS 234 in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. “I am representing the pride I have in my Hispanic heritage. This is about celebrating all Hispanic accomplishments and achievements.” The parade up Fifth Avenue featured floats, dancers and marching bands that entertained thousands of spectators. Salsa music could be heard everywhere. Petra Rodriguez, a paraprofessional at PS 75 in Ridgewood, Queens, who has participated in more than 10 Puerto Rican Day parades, likened it to a reunion. “I’m here to represent the union and Puerto Rico,” Rodriguez said. Martha Murray, an IEP teacher and chapter leader at PS/IS 109 in Flatbush, Brooklyn, said she marches to honor her parents, who were born on the island. “Even if we’re born in the U.S., we can’t forget our roots,” she said. The parade also “shows the children we’re proud of our heritage, and we’re proud to be teachers.”

Related Topics: Hispanic Affairs
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