Hispanic residents across Mercer County came out on Sunday to celebrate Carnival and the start of holy week. Mariana Tobar’s Foundation (The Tobar Foundation), hosted the afternoon of celebration at the Latino Merchants Association’s headquarters in Trenton. “This is a healthy environment, this how I was raised… we want to give our kids part of our culture … for our kids to have fun,” Tobar said. 

The celebration took place throughout the afternoon this past Sunday, featuring easter egg hunts, pinatas, Spanish music, dancing, and raffles for the kids. East Windsor resident Pedro Xochimito explained that his oldest son won a bicycle. “I think that the kids need to have this kind of fun, you know, events…I believe that they need to know our culture. So that’s one of the things that, for me, is important for them to know…” 

The small area was packed with Latin immigrants from across the world, from Guatemala to Mexico. Waldemar Isaac Ronquillo-DeLeon, a community activist and one of the event organizers, said he was delighted to see everyone come out to celebrate with them. “Doesn’t matter where you’re from, no matter what country you’re from…we welcome everybody. We don’t look at the races; we look at everybody as a human being,” said Ronquillo-DeLeon. 

A small food drive was happening for anyone who needed it on the left side. “We get donations from different vendors,” Ronquillo-DeLeon said, “And we put a food drive together to give to people no matter what.”

For those attending, it is like going home for the first time. Patricia Quiñones, a Trenton Resident of Guatemalan descent, said that it was great to come and celebrate the start of Holy Week. “This is a place for kids to come and celebrate… It’s like going back home, like a flashback to when I was home, when I was a kid,” Quiñones said.