Basseterre, St. Kitts, October 12, 2018 (SKNIS): Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Culture, the Honourable Shawn Richards, praised the diversity springing from the music, food and culture of the Latin community that has enriched everyday life in St. Kitts and Nevis, during the launch for the 9thAnnual Latin Festival on Thursday, October 11.

“Brothers and sisters we are one. Latin Fiesta is a celebration of our oneness. Being one does not mean that we are identical, but it means that we can embrace each other’s identity and find within it commonalities that make us unified. So we must push one common intention for a better life in the region,” said Minister Richards.

Reflecting on the theme for the 9th Annual Latin Festival “One Caribbean”, the culture minister described it as timely and appropriate.

“This must be proof to all who did not know before that our Latin Community in St. Kitts and Nevis understands the benefits of coming together as one team in unity. The concept of unity is especially important to our brothers and sisters of Latin American descent for we have seen attempts within our society to malign, belittle and disrespect individuals based on the language they speak or where they are from,” he added.

Minister Richards said that the Government and people of St. Kitts and Nevis “realize that true unity is not about eliminating our differences but celebrating them”. He encouraged the English-speaking citizens to learn baseball and salsa, just as the Spanish-speaking citizens learn cricket and calypso.

Diannille Taylor-Williams, Assistant Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, gave brief remarks on behalf of the Honourable Lindsay Grant, Minister of Tourism. She noted that the ministry is pleased to be working with the Latin community.

“Latin Festival St. Kitts has become known as the biggest and most exciting Latin-based event in the Eastern Caribbean. Therefore, the Ministry of Tourism is extremely proud to be associated with this event. Over the years, on St. Kitts, we have prioritized sustainability of this tourism sector,” she said. “More importantly, we as a people can learn about and enjoy our unique history and connect with one another. And whether we want to admit it or not, we have been influenced by our Latin American neighbours.”

She said that “we in St. Kitts and Nevis are increasingly becoming a multi-cultural community”, as everywhere one looks, the diversity in our destination is seen.

A number of activities are planned for the 9th Annual Latin Festival. These include: a movie night on October 29 at Caribbean Cinemas; Paint and Sip with Sasha, The Artist, on October 30 at the Royal St. Kitts Hotel; Latin Night at Mojitos on November 01; Art Exhibition and Pre-Party on November 03 at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort and Royal St. Kitts Hotel respectively; and the renowned Latin Fiesta on November 04 on the Frigate Bay Lawn.