Over 150 girls of all ages and backgrounds and their families gathered on September 16 at the Bob & Renee Parsons Leadership Center for Girls and Women at Camp South Mountain for Celebrating Mi Cultura, a National Hispanic Heritage Month event hosted by Girl Scouts–Arizona Cactus-Pine Council (GSACPC) that honored the beauty of the various Latino cultures represented in Arizona through food, music, fashion and activities with Girl Scout troops and community partners.

“Celebrating Mi Cultura strived to create an immersive cultural experience from start to finish that girls will take with them forever,” says Zuri Torres, Sr. Manager of Multicultural Communications for GSACPC. “From the dazzling Folklorico performance to open the program to the piñata breaking and a few rounds of Loteria to conclude the day, the celebration focused on connecting girls with their Latino heritage while promoting a deeper understanding of Latino cultures and traditions.”

Fashion was a key component of Celebrating Mi Cultura as Girl Scouts and professional models walked the runway in a fashion show hosted by Mujeres of All Shades. In line with their brand identity, the outfits stunned with their vibrant color combinations and incorporation of traditional patterns and cuts found in various Latino cultures.

Girls then welcomed Franchela Ulises, founder and CEO of Mujeres of All Shades, to speak on the importance of diversity, inclusion and women empowerment locally and share her mission to help women and girls feel beautiful inside and out while embracing their individuality.

Girls also expressed themselves through dance with a lesson from Ballet Folklorico Esperanza, an Avondale-based nonprofit dedicated to promoting and preserving the beauty of Mexican culture through folkloric dance. The lesson covered the basics of “zapateado” footwork and fundamentals of the dance, such as skirt work, performance style and choreography.

Artist, author and designer Kathy Cano-Murillo, The Crafty Chica, who specializes in sharing Mexican-inspired crafts that promote positivity through creativity, then guided attendees through a mini journal craft activity.

Participants then received a GSACPC Hispanic Heritage Month patch to add to their vests and took part in activities such as learning the history of tortillas while making their own, discovering the customs and cultural traditions of Bolivia, sugar skull making, and more!

With so many cultures represented in GSACPC, the council is dedicated to fostering a diverse membership that mirrors the communities it serves. Events like Celebrating Mi Cultura are an enriching day of self-discovery for girls as they are provided a safe environment to explore their identities and see how culture has shaped the world around them.

For more information, visit http://www.girlscoutsaz.org.