Your Time: Community block party, Hampshire Heights, Northampton

  • From left, Bert Fernandez, Wilfredo Guzman Jr., Victor Ernesto Guevara and Jose Jimenez play dominoes during the first Hampshire Association of Tenants community block party Saturday, Sept. 3, in Northampton. —GAZETTE STAFF/ANDREW J. WHITAKER

  • Edgardo Cancel, left, dances with Arianna Linton, 1, right, during the first Hampshire Association of Tenants community block party Saturday, Sept. 3, in Northampton. —GAZETTE STAFF/ANDREW J. WHITAKER

  • 1. Kids at the block party 2. Vannara Soun 3. From left, Cole Wojnar, Arteyvian Soun-Marrero, Emanuel Santiago 4. Bert Fernandez, Wilfredo Guzman Jr., Victor Ernesto Guevara, Jose Jimenez 5. Cole Wojnar, Alexavier Suon-Marrero 6. David Gonzalez, Jose Rupero 7. Angel Antequera 8. Jacob Cancel, Jorge Santiago Cover: Rosavannalee Soun-Marrero 1. Kids at the block party 2. Vannara Soun 3. From left, Cole Wojnar, Arteyvian Soun-Marrero, Emanuel Santiago 4. Bert Fernandez, Wilfredo Guzman Jr., Victor Ernesto Guevara, Jose Jimenez 5. Cole Wojnar, Alexavier Suon-Marrero 6. David Gonzalez, Jose Rupero 7. Angel Antequera 8. Jacob Cancel, Jorge Santiago Cover: Rosavannalee Soun-Marrero

  • Cole Wojnar, 7, center, and Alexavier Suon-Marrero, 8, left, stands next to him and watches as he tosses a water balloon during the first Hampshire Association of Tenants community block party Saturday, Sept. 3, in Northampton. —GAZETTE STAFF/ANDREW J. WHITAKER

  • Rosavannalee Soun-Marrero swings at a piñata during the first Hampshire Association of Tenants community block party Saturday, Sept. 3, in Northampton. —GAZETTE STAFF/ANDREW J. WHITAKER

  • Angel Antequera, 14, gets hit with a water balloon during the first Hampshire Association of Tenants community block party Saturday, Sept. 3, in Northampton. —GAZETTE STAFF/ANDREW J. WHITAKER

  • Jacob Cancel, left, chases Jorge Santiago, right during a balloon game at the first Hampshire Association of Tenants community block party Saturday, Sept. 3, in Northampton. —GAZETTE STAFF/ANDREW J. WHITAKER

  • From left, Cole Wojnar, Arteyvian Soun-Marrero and Emanuel Santiago play tug of war during the first Hampshire Association of Tenants community block party Saturday, Sept. 3, in Northampton. —GAZETTE STAFF/ANDREW J. WHITAKER

  • David Gonzalez, left, and Jose Rupero, ride Paso Fino horses the national horse of Puerto Rico during the first Hampshire Association of Tenants community block party Saturday, Sept. 3, in Northampton. —GAZETTE STAFF/ANDREW J. WHITAKER

  • Vannara Soun, left, lifts up her arm in celebration after winning at tug-of-war during the first Hampshire Association of Tenants community block party Saturday, Sept. 3, in Northampton. —GAZETTE STAFF/ANDREW J. WHITAKER

Published: 9/8/2016 1:19:01 PM

Photos and text by Andrew J. Whitaker

Community members and residents of Hampshire Heights in Northampton came out Saturday for food, music and kids’ activities at the first Hampshire Association of Tenants Community Block Party. 

As the smell of food from Alex Marrero’s grill filled the community-center lawn, a group of men played Dominos, while kids enjoyed balloon games and tug-of-war.

“We have been organizing and planning for a while with a goal to do a couple of events a year to pull the community together  and improve living conditions,” said Edgardo Cancel, a board member for the Hampshire Association of Tenants.  

The block party, which highlighted Puerto Rican culture, featured Don Pedrito Alvarez singing “Songs from the Mountains of Puerto Rico” and demonstrations of horseback riding by Jose Rupero and David Gonzalez on the Paso Fino, Puerto Rico’s national horse. 

Cancel said by this time next year,
organizers hope to have a new playground for the kids, along with a vegetable garden and flower bed. They also plan to continue to have events like this one to bring together not only Hampshire Heights residents, but the entire community.




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