Amherst to celebrate Puerto Rico Day on Thursday

  • Left, Blanca Osorio-Castillo and Marta Guevara dance with others while celebrating Puerto Rico during an event at the Amherst Town Hall on Sept 23, 2019. GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 9/20/2021 1:21:22 PM

AMHERST — As part of the Latino Heritage Month celebrations that are taking place through mid-October, the Amherst, Pelham and Amherst-Pelham Regional schools will mark Puerto Rico Day Thursday morning.

Former San Juan mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz will be the keynote speaker at the event, starting at 10 a.m. in front of Amherst Town Hall.

Also speaking will be Superintendent Michael Morris and Town Manager Paul Bockelman, with a proclamation of Puerto Rico Day read by the Amherst Town Council prior to the raising of the Puerto Rico flag that was displayed in San Juan after Hurricane Maria.

Performances will include a presentation of the Taínos, the native people of Puerto Rico, by Pelham Elementary first graders, and singing and dancing by Fort River School students in the Caminantes dual-language program. Featured performers are José Gonzalez, cuatro virtuoso from Puerto Rico, with his son Ahmed Gonzalez, a high school paraeducator.

Marta Guevara, director of Student and Family Engagement for the public schools, will serve as emcee for the event.

In another school-related event, members of the high school’s Sene-Gambian Scholars program are holding a West African food takeout fundraiser to support an exchange program with schools in Senegal and The Gambia.

Proceeds from this will support community service projects and cultural field trips in West Africa, as well as the Amherst Survival Center and the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. For this fundraiser, the scholars are partnering with South Congregational Church, which is sharing its kitchen and pay portal.

Meals can be ordered online at For more information, contact Bruce Penniman at 

Scott Merzbach can be reached at

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