Luisiana y la Fiesta de los Isleños, en el Bicentenario

Partida de cartas entre Isleños, en Delacroix Island (1939).

A veces, uno se vincula a personas, cosas, acciones o territorios que nunca soñó. Y esos vínculos pueden crecer hasta convertirse en razones que nos hacen ponernos en marcha cada día.
Luisiana, ¡quién me lo iba a decir!, entró en mi vida para quedarse. Desde el día que pisé por primera vez el aeropuerto Louis Armstrong hasta hoy, cualquier noticia sobre ese Estado norteamericano, martirizado por el agua, el viento y los mosquitos, no me deja indiferente.
Allí están, vivos unos y bajo tierra otros, muchos amigos queridos, cuyos ancestros salieron de la isla donde nací, obligados por la necesidad propia y por la necedad ajena a cruzar el peligroso océano. Durante más de dos siglos han conservado costumbres e idioma, mientras libraban una lucha continua por la sobrevivencia. Hoy se les conoce como los Islanders y, a pesar de tantos reveses sufridos en los últimos años, continúan celebrando cada año una fiesta en torno la herencia canaria.
Era mi intención asistir; sin embargo, la vida no siempre sopla en la dirección que uno quisiera y no voy a poder estar presente. No obstante, quiero transmitir a los Isleños de Saint Bernard Parish y de los alrededores mis mejores deseos para este año en que, además, se cumplen dos siglos de que Luisiana se convirtiera en Estado, el 30 de abril de 1812.
Enviado por el actual presidente de Los Isleños Heritage and Cultural Society, Lloyd Serigne, el entrañable Wimpy, me ha llegado el programa de los actos a realizar en el Museo de los Isleños y en los hermosos terrenos aledaños. De todo corazón, recomiendo a quien tenga la posibilidad de realizar el viaje o se encuentre en los Estados Unidos que no dude en asistir a esta fiesta. Con seguridad, se va a llevar una de las más hermosas sorpresas de su vida, además de recibir una cálida bienvenida: costumbre de sus ancestros que todavía no han perdido los Isleños del Misisipi.

Fiesta de los Isleños, en 2005, poco antes del huracán Katrina.

LOS ISLEÑOS FIESTA 2012, MARCH 17th – 18th, 2012
Plans are progressing well for Fiesta 2012. Fiesta Chairman Hugh P. Pentney and Co-Chairperson Rhonda Rodriguez Hannan have worked tirelessly along with many others, too numerous to name here, in organizing the fiesta. Amusement rides for children will be an important new addition to the festival which hopefully will prove to be an important new source of revenue. St. Bernard Parish Government and the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Department have been generous, as always, in their support of preparations for Fiesta 2012. The Schedule for March 17th – 18th, 2012 is as follows:

SATURDAY, MARCH 17th, 2012
12:00 NOON Opening Ceremony
12:30 p.m. Los Islenos Senior Heritage Program
1:00 – 3:00 p.m. Fredy Omar con su Banda
3:00 – 4:00 p.m. Los Cabuqueros de Arucas and Los Cebolleros de Galdar
4:00 – 8:00 p.m. The Top Cats

SUNDAY, MARCH 18th, 2012

12:00 NOON Los Islenos Junior Heritage Program
12:30 – 2:30 p.m. OVI-G and the Froggies
2:30 – 4:00 p.m. Los Cabuqueros de Arucas and Los Cebolleros de Galdar
4:00 – 8:00 p.m. August Rush

LIVING HISTORY programs scheduled for Fiesta 2012 in Los Islenos Historic Village have continued to evolve under the stewardship of Living History Committee Chairperson Donna Mumfrey-Martin and her committee. The Houma Native American Nation, our partners in the development of the Museum Complex, will constitute a dynamic addition to the historic interpretation during the festival. Principal Chief Thomas Dardar will join with other Native Americans including Janie Luster, Frances Johnson, Bryant Billiot, Melanie Billiot, Laurence “Pete” Billiot, Choctaw Margo Rosas and others to portray the Native American presence in our history. The Houmas entered into a cooperative agreement with Parish Government in 1998 and have remained steadfast in their support of the Museum Complex, even though they were destroyed by hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005. Their annual pow –wows from 1999 through 2004 were a cultural highlight of the Museum Complex.
Isleno folk crafts will of course be featured as well. Teneriffe lace making, trapping, carpentry, decoy carving, paddle carving, boat building and Isleno folk remedies and superstitions will form part of the interpretive presentations. Basket making, quilting, spinning and dyeing of wool, wood carving, wooden bas-relief carving and displays by the St. Bernard Art Guild will also be featured during Fiesta 2012.
The interpretive program schedule for Saturday, March 17th and Sunday, March 18th is as follows:

El “Caldo isleño” es, sin duda alguna, el descendiente del puchero canario.

ESTEVES HOUSE


1:15 pm and 3:15 daily
PABLO AND MARIA SKIT starring Bert Esteves and Dot Benge
12:30 pm, 1:30 pm, 2:30 pm, 3:30 pm
Junior Docent tours by Chalmette and Cabrini High School Students

LOS ISLENOS MUSEUM


12:30 pm, 1:30 pm, 2:30 pm, 3:30, pm
BARTOLOME AND MARIA MOLERO SKIT starring Ryan Gregoire and Molero family descendant Megan Alfonso
COOKING DEMONSTRATIONS – FRONT GALLERY OF LOS ISLENOS MUSEUM
Saturday, March 17th, 2012
1:30 pm
“Cooking Caldo on the Porch” by CINDA RODRIGUEZ MELERINE, caldo cooking demonstration
Sunday, March 18th, 2012
1:30 pm
“The Praline Lady of Verrett” by MABEL STEWART, praline making demonstration
Interpretive programs in the Isleno Center (Multi-Purpose Building) are scheduled as follows:

SATURDAY, MARCH 17th, 2012
 Ladies Day
1:00 pm
Teneriffe Lace, demonstrated by Joan Phillips and Doris Serigne
2:00 pm
Lost Secrets of the Islenos – Remedies, Cures and Superstitions by Cecile Robin
3:00 pm
Garfish Jewelry and Basket Making from the Houma Nation by Janie Luster

SUNDAY, MARCH 18th, 2012
 Mens’ Day
1:00 pm
History of the Houma Native Americans by Thomas Dardar, Principal Chief, Houma Native American Nation


2:00 pm
Farming in the Village, featuring photos from the past and historical data by Jerry Glen Estopinal, Historian, Los Islenos Society

3:00 pm
Louisiana Militia – 200 years: A peek into the Past by Stephen Estopinal, Treasurer, Canary Islands Heritage Society
Genealogical information about the Islenos of Louisiana will be presented by Dennis Delaney and the Canary Islands Heritage Society in the Isleno Center Saturday and Sunday. St. Bernard Isleno genealogical information will be presented March 17th – March 18th by the Genealogy Seminar class of Los Islenos Society in Ducros Museum and Research Library. General information and genealogy charts prepared by Joan Nunez Phillips and Rhonda Rodriguez Hannan will on display and available for consultation.
Isleno artist Jose Balli, native of Bencheque (Reggio) in St. Bernard, will mount an exhibition entitled “The faces of Islenos” in Ducros Museum. Mr. Balli will have posters and jewelry which he has designed for sale and will donate a percentage of the sales to benefit Los Islenos Society. Last year’s display was widely appreciated in Ducros.

Remaining food preparation days are scheduled for Saturday, MARCH 10th, 2012 at 9:00 am in Los Islenos Center (Multi Purpose Building ) to cut fruit for our homemade sangria and Thursday, MARCH 15th, 2012 at 1:30 pm in the cafeteria of St. Bernard Middle School . Debbie Carballo and Rhonda Hannan need all the help we can muster on those days to complete food preparation. ADDITIONAL HELP will be necessary Friday, March 16th, 2012 at the Museum Complex throughout the day. Please make contact with Rhonda by calling (504) 615 – 9322 or e-mailing her at rhondahannan@yahoo.com. Food captains are requested to set up their booths on Friday, March 16th and not to wait until Saturday morning. It is very important to be ready to serve food to the public by 12:00 noon Saturday, March 17th.

Kathy Serpas Ziegler and Catherine Ybarzabal Serpas are co-chairpersons of the Junior and Senior Heritage Programs. Please take even more pride in your Isleno heritage by entering the Senior or Junior Heritage Programs. We particularly need to enter our youth in these heritage programs in order to foster appreciation of this precious cultural heritage. How can this movement have a future without the active support of our young people. Please call Kathy Serpas Ziegler at (504) 494 – 5848 or correspond with her at kziegler2012@gmail.com.

CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Saturday, March 10th, 2012
9:00 AM
FOOD PREPARATION DAY – Los Islenos Center (Multi- Purpose Building)
Tuesday,

March 13th, 2012
7:00 PM
GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING – Pot luck dinner to meet and greet Los Cabuqueros de Arucas and Los Cebolleros de Galdar – Los Islenos Center (Multi Purpose Building)
Thursday, March 15th, 2012
1:30 PM
FOOD PREPARATION DAY – Cafeteria, St. Bernard Middle School (formerly St. Bernard High School), 2601 Torres Drive, St. Bernard, Louisiana. Park in lot on west side of school next
to the cafeteria.
Friday, March 16th, 2012 ALL DAY
FOOD PREPARATION DAY – LOS ISLENOS MUSEUM COMPLEX

SATURDAY, MARCH 17th – SUNDAY, MARCH 18th, 2012
LOS ISLENOS FIESTA 2012
12:00 NOON – 8:00 PM BOTH DAYS

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012
7:00 PM
GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING – Los Islenos Center (Multi Purpose Building)

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