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Orange County

Día del Niño traditional Mexican event will celebrate the rights of children in Santa Ana

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Children at Día del Niño, or Day of the Child, in Santa Ana. The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday in Santa Ana.
(Courtesy of El Centro Cultural de México)

Thousands are expected to gather Sunday in Santa Ana for a traditional Mexican holiday celebrating children’s rights.

Karen Sarabia, general coordinator for El Centro Cultural de México in Santa Ana, said Día del Niño, or Day of the Child, will have special significance this year because of the “separation of families” as a result of President Trump’s crackdown on immigration.

Members of the longstanding cultural center — founded by a group of migrant women in 1994 — have been affected by the stringent policies. The center, which organized the event, has acted as a support structure for the community.

“It’s something we need to highlight,” Sarabia said. “We know it’s going on in our community.”

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The center, which organized the event, has acted as a support structure for the community.

With an environmentalist theme, the event will also focus on preserving a bright future for children.

The program will begin at 10:30 a.m. at Sasscer Park, at Ross Street and Santa Ana Boulevard. From there, children and their families will march to Birch Park, 200 North Ross St.

“In Santa Ana, we teach our youth to be strong, have a voice and fight for dignity,” said Benjamin Vazquez, El Centro board member. “We celebrate these values every year at the Children’s March.”

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The celebration will run to 3 p.m. and will include puppet-making, painting, dancing and music. Many of the performances will have traditional Mexican ties, with the famed character Cri-Cri making an appearance. The anthropomorphic cricket has deep cultural roots in Mexico.

Environmental justice groups will also hold workshops at the event.

For more information about Día del Niño, visit their Facebook event page.

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