October 20, 2021 Submitted By Hingham Unity Council
In recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 - October 15, 2021), the Hingham
Unity Council (HUC), in partnership with the South Shore Unity Council (currently made up of
Cohasset, Duxbury, Hanover, Hingham, Scituate and Weymouth) and the Hingham Farmers
Market hosted a first-of-its-kind celebration on Saturday, October 9th.
Community members attending the market enjoyed traditional Mexican dance performances by
young dancers (boys and girls age 4-12) of the Hingham Folkloric Dance Academy, led by Erika
Figueroa, a HUC member who helped plan the event. Erika also included the crowd in the
festivities by teaching dance moves and singing several traditional Mexican songs.
Erika said of the day, "This has been a pretty awesome opportunity for our Hingham neighbors
and friends to come out and celebrate my Hispanic culture. It’s events like these that make me,
my family, and others, feel like we are welcome in this community. Being fairly new in the area,
it truly made my heart happy to see so many people at the Hingham Farmers Market taking an
interest in celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month.”
The HUC also hosted a table displaying various artifacts from different Hispanic cultures
including Mexico, Peru and Uruguay. Stephanie Burke of Scituate, who was the brainchild
behind the event, said "Being there and watching this beautiful celebration of Mexican culture in
an everyday setting in the South Shore was special for my daughter and me, and to be able to
share that moment with people experiencing folklorico dancing for the first time made it such an
amazing experience. I was so grateful for HUC bringing this idea to life and can’t wait to see
Mark Cullings, president of the Hingham Farmers Market stated, “All of us at the HFM were
proud to welcome the HUC and SSUC and the young dancers from the Hingham Folkloric
Dance Academy. They were wonderful, brought great spirit and many new faces to the market.
It was the first time we’d hosted a performance group at our new home on Station St., and it
was a great success. We hope they enjoyed being at the market as much as we did having
"As a Mexican American, it was so encouraging to see our local community embracing my
culture in a truly authentic way - especially so close to our actual independence day (September
16) instead of Cinco De Mayo!” said Tina Randall, a HUC steering committee member and one
of the event organizers.
Vanessa Garufi of Hanover came to the event with her daughter Lexi. “I wanted to show [Lexi]
a celebration from another culture and there are not many opportunities for that on the South
Shore. Plus Lexi loves to dance!" Garufi said.
The Hingham and South Shore Unity Councils hope to develop more opportunities for our
community to experience the richness of cultures shared by our neighbors in the near future.