Monday 19th of February 2018 | Spanish | English

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On August 2, New York’s Ecuadorian community kicked off the commemoration of the 206th anniversary of Ecuador’s Independence. Flags, toquilla straw hats, banners and Ecuadorian soccer Jerseys, adorned Northern Boulevard in Queens, the heart of the Big Apple.

The mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, led the opening ceremony of the 33rd Ecuadorian parade wearing the traditional straw hat. The community of families, Ecuadorian migrants, authorities and special guests dressed in yellow, blue and red to march along Northern Boulevard from 69th Street to 86th Street, recalling the First Cry of Independence of August 10, 1809.

The Ecuadorian Ambassador to the United States, Francisco Borja, attended as one of the special guests and highlighted the contributions of Ecuadorian migrants in the United States. “The migrant is by nature a person who takes risks, who is accustomed to sacrifice and is not afraid of challenges,” said the Ambassador. “These qualities make our compatriots a community that can contribute, innovate and improve this country that is their new home.”

Oswaldo Guzmán, president of the Ecuadorian Civic Committee and main organizer of the event, said that between 60.000 to 65.000 spectators gathered at the celebration that was coordinated by the Ecuadorian Civic Committee together with various organizations and the Consulate General of New York.

Other notable figures in the parade included State Senator Jose Peralta, Senator Charles Schumer, State Assemblyman Francisco Moya, of Ecuadorian descent, and Ecuador’s Minister of Economic and Social Inclusion Betty Tola. The grand marshal was lawyer Diego Benitez who is the president of the Foundation Vista Para Todos. The Ecuadorian beauty queens in attendance were Emely Matute, Queen of the Civic Committee 2015-2016, Francesca Cipriani, Miss Ecuador 2015, Carolina Baez, Queen of Quito 2014-2015 and Andrea Torres, Queen of Guayaquil 2014 -2015 who were seen on top of dozens of floats while dancing to Ecuadorian music rhythms.

To conclude the event, the attendees gathered on the 86th Street stage to sing Ecuador’s national anthem.

Other Ecuadorian Consulates are commemorating Ecuador’s national day by hosting events in their respective cities. The Houston consulate will host a reception on August 6th to exhibit Ecuadorian culture to local authorities, diplomats and the Ecuadorian community. On August 7th, the Chicago consulate will hoist the Ecuadorian flag at Delsey Plaza, also host a reception with local authorities and special guests.

The Consulates of Minneapolis, Los Angeles and New Jersey will join the celebration by holding several cultural and musical events throughout the weekend, including the big Ecuadorian Parade to be held on August 9th in the three cities.