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Happy children with the gifts of the Kings

Centro Hispano Inc celebrated its 48th. annual event of Three Kings Day, keeping the Hispanic tradition

In Spanish-speaking countries, Three Kings Day is synonymous with gifts for children. Photo: Fernando Pineda.

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Fernando Pineda | Maricarmen Beloved

White Plains

Dylan Pérez, seven years old, arrived with his mother, Ardelia Pérez, at the Post Rd. School in White Plains, to celebrate Three Kings Day. After receiving a coat and a gift, the smile framed on his face expressed deep joy. Then, the mother, of Mexican origin, thanked the organizers of the event and highlighted the importance of this day in which the adoration of the Child Jesus by the three Magi is commemorated.

“I am very grateful,” Perez said.

The little ones show a smile and a happy face after going home with their toy. Photo: Fernando Pineda.

The Three Kings Day celebration party was the 48th. event carried out by the Centro Hispano Inc, in order to maintain the Hispanic roots and traditions, in addition to giving joy to both children and families.

“The most important things we have are toys, clothes, and food, and this is three-in-one oil,” said Isabel Villar, executive director of Centro Hispano Inc., who along with her team had prepared gifts for 200 children. Coats and food supplies were also delivered.

As Villar explains, this is one of the most important events of the institution, which originated when the Latino children of this city did not have any celebration. That’s how they decided to start a toy collection campaign between the residents of White Plains and the businesses in the city, managing to raise more and more each year.

To all the children, the Three Kings delivered gifts and food

This year, the three wise men were members of the White Plains Police Department, who continuously work with the Hispanic Center, in activities with children and youth.

Joe Castelli, Chief of the Police Department, represented King Melchor, and said that “it is a wonderful event with the children. Last year he participated supporting and was nominated by the board to be one of the kings. It is wonderful to participate and the Police Department works with the Hispanic Center,” he said.

The project manager for the construction of the new Centro Hispano headquarters, Chris Zaia, from Scully Construction, represented King Gaspar and handed out dozens of toys to the little attendees. “I am very happy to participate today with the children,” he said.

Joe Castelli, Chief of the Police Department, represented King Melchior; Chris Zaia, represented King Gaspar; and King Baltasar, was the captain of the White Plains Police, James Spencer. In the photo with Isabel Villar.

King Baltazar was represented by the White Plains Police Captain, James Spencer, who participates as a volunteer every year and this time he was a wizard king.

“It’s beautiful to be with the community and I enjoy supporting Centro Hispano, every year at the Three Kings party,” Spencer said.

Another of the mothers, the Mexican Apolonia Serrano, arrived with her husband and her five children, who left with faces of satisfaction and gratitude to the Three Wise Men.

“This is a beautiful tradition that we Mexicans follow, and it is good that here children are also taken into account to give them a gift to make them feel happy,” said Mrs. Serrano.

According to the Catholic religion, this day coincides with the day of the Epiphany, one of the oldest liturgical celebrations that means revelation or apparition, referring to the fact that the baby Jesus is shown to the pagan world, represented in the Magi.

The Three Wise Men of White Plains, along with the police officers who came to support the event, Isabel Villar, and the vice president of the board, Nicholas Wolff. Photo: Westchester Hispanic.

“My name is Nohemí, I am Guatemalan and although in my country I have realized that they celebrate Three Kings Day, I know little, but I feel happy to see my four children receiving these gifts,” said the immigrant mother.

Among the families with children who received gifts was also the four-year-old daughter of Lucero Rojas, to whom her mother explained that it was a celebration of union and joy for the arrival of the Three Kings loaded with toys for the children.

Villar explained that this event will continue every year, and that the services of the Hispanic Center will be expanded when they move to their new location currently under construction.

“We will have everything in one concentrated location and I want everyone to know that the new location will offer two food distributions a week,” she said, along with new programs like immigration, education and more.

When Centro Hispano Inc was founded, the number of Hispanics was around a thousand people, and currently the number of Hispanic Latinos is over 19 thousand people.

Posted on January 09, 2023



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