WALLA WALLA, WASH. – People throughout the Walla Walla Valley and beyond are invited to join in a fun evening and celebrate Latino-owned small businesses at Expo Latino on May 4.
Attendees will enjoy free performances by Ballet Folklorico Estrellas de Mexico, a Mexican folklore dance group, as well as a live DJ. Expo Latino features 30 to 40 Latino-owned, local small businesses who will be on hand to display their wares and services. Taqueria Mi Pueblito will also have food available for purchase at the event.
Expo Latino will be held between 6 and 8 p.m. on May 4 in the Warrior Marketplace Dining Area and nearby outdoor area (weather pending) at Walla Walla Community College’s (WWCC) Walla Walla Campus. This pre-Cinco de Mayo event is free to attend.
A wide variety of Latino-owned small businesses are expected to participate, including drywall, construction and landscaping businesses; bakers and confectioners; hair and nail salons; housekeepers; photographers; wood workers (custom furniture); artists; daycare services; and a number of other businesses offering anything from boots and hats to perfumes and artisanal items from Mexico and Ecuador.
Many of the business owners featured are graduates of the Mercy Corps Northwest and City of Walla Walla Micro-Business Assistance (MBA) Program that ran from 2018 to 2022.
“I am very happy to see many of our graduates from the MBA Program continue to grow and make their dreams come true,” said Cinthya Montero, one of the organizers for Expo Latino. “I’m proud to see many small businesses entrepreneurs participate in these events and continue to network with others.”
Event organizers note that many of these small businesses started during the pandemic or were very new when COVID-19 hit. The first Expo Latino, held last fall, showcased nearly 20 Latino-owned businesses.
“As organizers of this event, we recognized that many small businesses needed an outlet to be able to get back out in front of the public,” said Jennifer Beckmeyer, another organizer for Expo Latino. “We are excited that our community can celebrate and learn about dozens of these interesting, local businesses all in one place.”
Alma Miranda, owner of Alma’s Creative House and a participant in the event last fall, will be returning to Expo Latino on May 4. She says Expo Latino is an opportunity to connect with new clients and “get my business in front of the community.”
“There are a lot of people who come,” Miranda said. “I have the opportunity to connect with the community and personally hand them my business card.”
WWCC is a proud host for Expo Latino, as many of the participating business owners are alumni of, or current students in, the college’s English Language Acquisition program.
“We would love it if everyone could join us in celebrating and supporting our small, Latino-owned businesses,” WWCC Director of Outreach Melissa Rodriguez said. “Bring the whole family! There will be something for everyone to enjoy.”
For more information about Expo Latino, contact Jennifer Beckmeyer at 509.520.2557.