Our vision is uniting culture and the community through education to project ourselves united towards the future.
The mission of Semana Hispana en Lawrence is to celebrate Hispanic culture by promoting, exposing an educating the community at large to Hispanic culture, customs and traditions.
In 1959 the Puerto Ricans began arriving in our city of Lawrence MA in search of employment opportunities in factories on the Merrimack River. One of those was Mrs. Isabel Meléndez who came with her dreams of continuing her career as a teacher. Although it was a difficult start for her in the United States, she prevailed and in 20 years she became a community activist who advocated for new immigrants arriving in the city of Lawrence. Initially, the greatest influence came from Puerto Rico and Cuba followed by residents of the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico and other Latin countries. In 1978 Isabel Meléndez went to a festival with two friends from Cuba and Ecuador. That trip began the desire of her to make a similar celebration in Lawrence, and therefore the planning for the first Latin festival began. Although Isabel could have started the first Puerto Rican festival in recognition of her heritage, she decided to highlight the beauty of all Latin countries. In our festival, we teach our residents, visitors and tourists everything we do in our countries over a week. Countries like Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Ecuador, Venezuela and others have integrated themselves with Semana Hispana. Over 40,000 people visit us through the three days of the festival at Campagnone Park. Semana Hispana unites all surrounding communities with cultural events, dancing, music, traditional plates and much more.
This Organization shall be operated exclusively for educational, charibla, and religious or literacy purposes, as said terms have been and shall be defined pursuant to Section 170(c) and 501 (c) 3 of the Internal Revenue Code and as defined in the Massachusetts General Laws Chapter180.