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New York City Puerto Rican Day Parade 2019. Photo: Getty Images 
New York City Puerto Rican Day Parade 2019. Photo: Getty Images 

NYC Puerto Rican Day Parade uplifts many voices

The iconic celebration marked its 62nd year this June. It has continued to evolve over the decades while maintaining its traditional importance to the city's…

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There are many remarkable events that happen in New York City. One event that kicks off the summer in celebration of Latinos is the National Puerto Rican Day Parade. On Sunday, June 9, New York Citys’ Puerto Rican community celebrated its 62nd annual Puerto Rican Day Parade. This years’ theme was Un Pueblo, Muchas Voces which translates to One Nation, Many Voices. The chosen theme is said to represent and honor the “creativity and diversity of thought in Puerto Rico and across the diaspora.”The parade trailed through 44th street and Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.

Over two million people from around the world attended this celebration to honor the 3.5 million inhabitants of Puerto Rico and those who live in the mainland of the United States. The National Puerto Rican Day Parade (NPRDP) is the biggest cultural pride organization in the nation. Their mission is to bring awareness and honor to the culture and history of Puerto Rico and its contribution to the world.

On Sept. 20, 2017, the island of Puerto Rico was destroyed by Hurricane Maria, which hit the island as a Category Four storm. Hurricane Maria left 3.1 million people in Puerto Rico without homes, electricity, food, and water. More than 3,000 people on the island of Puerto Rico lost their lives. Two years later the island has been standing on its feet, welcoming tourists and regaining their cultural strength.

New York City’s Puerto Rican Day Parade showed the strength and history that the island and its people have overcome in the past two years. There are plenty of events that lead up to the parade at the end of the week, such as the Education Leadership Awards, 125nd Cultural Festival, and the Gala fundraiser Banquet. The events and programs help the Puerto Rican communities advance the arts, culture, and education. Artists, musicians, and politicians of Puerto Rican descent such as Ricky Martin, Adrienne Bailon, Marc Anthony, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez made an appearance at the parade to greet fans and celebrate with singing and dancing.

The NPRDP organization not only holds parades to honor the Puerto Rican culture; it also promotes higher education. Since 2013, the NPRDP Scholarship Program awards $200,000 in total to at least 100 college and high school students of Puerto Rican descent.

After 60 years, this event continues to make a mark on the hearts of the Puerto Rican community in NYC.

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