Papa Noel wishes feliz navidad > Peru

In Karla’s native Peru, Christmas is more or less similar to that of the U.S.; the date, the decorations, the general purpose all match. But when you get down to the nuances that surround the holiday, the customs and traditions, food and music, then it begins to resemble a different thing entirely.

Take Christmas Eve. In Peru, it’s a party akin to our New Year’s. People throw huge get-togethers with friends and families, they dance, break pinatas, eat and drink. At midnight, champagne is popped, fireworks are lit, presents are torn open, and everyone parties on, not retiring until just before dawn.
Most Hispanic cultures celebrate Christmas with specific traditions that differ from those of the United States, which can make it tough for other Hispanic communities to conform to our holiday norms.

Luckily they don’t have to, because there is an annual holiday party tailored specifically toward Spanish speakers and their families. Papa Noel will take place Sunday at 3 p.m. in the Telluride High School cafeteria. Papa Noel offers the chance for the Hispanic community to both uphold their own traditions here in the U.S. and just get together for a good time.
It gives the Spanish speaking community a chance to come and enjoy the family atmosphere with people of a sort of similar culture, said one of the organizers of the event.

Papa Noel is very much geared toward families, with plenty to keep the little ones busy. There will be games for kids and adults, a pair of pinatas, candy and a special visit from Papa Noel (Santa Claus) who will bring gifts for each child registered for the event. Kids will be able to sit on his lap and get a picture taken with him. Seeing Papa Noel in real life is a huge thing for the kids. There will also be food provided by Las Montanas, Latin music spun by DJ Manuelito and dancing.

Papa Noel is probably the biggest event of the year for the Spanish speaking community. This year 250 people are expected to attend the Latino Initiative sponsored event. At its heart, the event is just a big holiday party, a chance for people to relax, escape the chaos of everyday life and get together with friends and family. But it definitely also gives people a chance to return to their own particular customs and traditions in good company.