West New York Mayor Felix E. Roque and council gathered outside Town Hall on July 24 to raise the Peruvian Flag before a crowd of more than a dozen community members present at the 5 p.m. event.
Along with master of ceremonies and Chief of Staff Luis Baez, attendees were invited to sing the national anthem honoring the stars and stripes, followed by the Peruvian national anthem as the red-and-white flag ascended. The mayor and commissioners addressed the crowd in Spanish.
Among several individuals at the event were Laura Quijandria, Ruth Fernandez, and Kerlyn Espinal from the office of Bob Menendez, who all received awards on behalf of the town.
“We are not only here to celebrate Peruvian Independence Day but our heritage and culture,” said Quijandria. Several in the crowd cheered, “Viva Peru!”
“I am very honored to receive the recognition from the city,” said Quijandria. As owner of a travel agency, she has been in business for the past 32 years operating an office on Bergenline Avenue.
“I am very honored to receive the recognition form the city,” – Laura Quijandria
Karla Corcuera, secretary for the brotherhood of San Martin de Porres, was also in attendance. For the past 15 years, the group’s mission is to honor the Peruvian saint, and they do so out of St. Mary’s Church. Their member Alex Navas helped organize the flag raising event and try to get other cities involved in the celebrations surrounding July 28. First declared in 1821, they gained full independence in 1824.
Navas hopes to have more community involvement, as his organization celebrates many nationalities throughout the year including the raising of the flags for others who share the Latin culture.