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Celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month in Dutchess

Date Published: September 14, 2023

National Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15–Oct. 15, 2023) is quickly approaching, and there are so many ways to celebrate right here in Dutchess County! Experience the centuries-old Hispanic traditions and customs, the vibrant, colorful artwork and the savory, authentic flavors. Examine the important events that have shaped Hispanic history and the Spanish language that serves as a common thread in a proud multicultural tapestry. 

Here is a list of some Dutchess events and attractions you don't want to miss. Be sure to take lots of photos, and feel free to share them here or by tagging @DutchessTourism on social media. 

Mural by Lady Pink in Poughkeepsie
Mural by Lady Pink on the corner of Main Street and South White Street in Poughkeepsie

Artistic and Cultural Experiences 

Cuboricua in Concert 

Sunday, Sept. 17, 3 p.m. at the Mid-Hudson Discovery Museum Pavilion, Poughkeepsie 

Enjoy a fantastic evening of free music and entertainment as Cuboricua performs live at the waterfront pavilion at the Mid-Hudson Discovery Museum (formerly the Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum)! Inspired by the music of Cuba and Puerto Rico, Cuboricua presents the rhythms and melodies of the Caribbean, including salsa, son, rumba, bomba, plena and merengue. Andy’s Mexican Tacos food truck and the 1915 Wine Cellar will serving up tasty treats and beverages. The museum will be open for Family Free Night, offering free admission from 5:30 – 8 p.m. Click here for details. 

The Alejandro Brittes Quartet
The Alejandro Brittes Quartet

Latin Culture Series 

Throughout September and October at The Stissing Center, Pine Plains 

Camarada’s Tango Obsession (Sunday, Sept. 17, 3 p.m.): Tango Obsession is an exhilarating program which explores scintillating rhythms and seductive melodies of the tango throughout history, a time-travel experience of sorts that highlights many famous tango composers. Join the Camarada Tango Quartet and tango dancers Carolina Jaurena and Andres Bravo for an unforgettable evening of passionate music, dance and culture. The quartet, consisting of Argentinian composer and bass player Andres Martin, flutist Beth Ross Buckley, violinist David Buckley and pianist Dana Burnett, is renowned for its deep passion for tango and its high-energy performances. To reserve tickets, click here.

The Alejandro Brittes Quartet (Saturday, Sept. 30, 7 p.m.): Argentine accordionist Alejandro Brittes and his Quartet give new life to centuries-old traditions through the rhythmic allure of Chamame folk music. Chamame, “the music of the servants,” was created by the people living in rural northeastern Argentina and evolved with the arrival of immigrants from Eastern Europe, who introduced the accordion. Celebrate cultural heritage through the universal language of music and discover the ritualistic harmony between Earth, universe and humanity through mesmerizing performances of song and dance. Click here to purchase tickets. 

Cana Dulce Y Cana Brava (Saturday, Oct. 21, 7 p.m.): Cana Dulce Y Cana Brava is a group comprised almost entirely of women that plays traditional Son Jarocho music, which is a folk music style native to the state of Veracruz in Mexico. Founders Adriana Cao Romero and Raquel Vega both hail from prominent musical families. Adriana learned the harp from renowned maestro Don Panfilo Valerio, and Raquel is the granddaughter of Don Andres “El Guero” Vega, who toured the world with the famous group Mono Blanco. Cana Dulce Y Cana Brava has also toured extensively and shared this traditional musical genre with audiences all over the world. It promises to be an evening of music, culture and fun not to be missed. Click here to purchase tickets. 

Hispanic Heritage Month at DCC

Multiple events at Dutchess Community College, Poughkeepsie

Dutchess Community College is hosting a series of diverse arts and culture programs that are open to the public during Hispanic Heritage Month. There will be an art workshop with artist and educator Aurelio del Muro focusing on ceramic tile painting on Sept. 21; an Afro-Cuban dance workshop featuring dancer and choreographer Argelia Arreola on Oct. 3; a folk music performance by Cana Dulce Cana Brava on Oct. 17; a lecture and discussion featuring award-winning Puerto Rican writer, performer and filmmaker Janis Astor del Valle on Oct. 19; and a concert featuring Claudia Valentina Montes and her band on Oct. 26. Click here for details.

Allan Justino Munoz
Allan Justino Munoz

Nicaraguan Artist Allan Justino Munoz Visits Dutchess 

Saturday, Sept. 23, 10:30 a.m. at the Millbrook Library 

Sunday, Sept. 24, 1 p.m. at the Mid-Hudson Discovery Museum, Poughkeepsie 

Visiting Nicaraguan artist Allan Justino Munoz is touring the United States and raising support for the “Believe in Art” program, which is focused on promoting art and culture in Leon, Nicaragua. Munoz — who is famous for his breathtaking public murals and is an art teacher at the El Centro de Arte Fundacion Ortiz Gurdian, the best contemporary art center in Central America — will be making two stops in Dutchess County on his tour. He will host an artist talk on Sept. 23 at the Millbrook Library and a workshop for artists ages 9-12 on Sept. 24 at the Mid-Hudson Discovery Museum. Both events are free! 

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Classical Guitarist Dan Garcia in Concert 

Tuesday, Oct. 17, 7 p.m. at the Howland Cultural Center, Beacon 

Dan Garcia’s love of the Spanish guitar began right at home in his native Madrid. Dan’s solo performances featuring music from Spain and South America have been thrilling audiences across the country. Steeped in tradition, Dan’s repertoire features an array of influences, from the romantic compositions of Francisco Tarrega to the unforgettable melodies of Augustin Barrios. Click here to reserve tickets. 

Northern Dutchess Symphony Orchestra's "Latin Itinerary"

Sunday, Oct. 29, 3 p.m. at the Marriott Pavilion at the Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park

The Northern Dutchess Symphony Orchestra invites you to embark on a musical journey through Mexico, Spain, Brazil and Peru. Your trip begins in Veracruz, Mexico, with "Huapango," which features folk and dance music of the region.  Your trip continues with the "Nights in the Gardens of Spain" featuring pianist Yalin Chi. You'll then head to the Andes Mountains of Peru with "Elegia Andina" and to Brazil with "The Little Train of Caipira" before returning to Veracruz with "Danzon Number 2." To purchase individual tickets or season subscriptions for the entire NDSO 2023-24 season, click here.

La Guelaguetza, Waryas Park, Poughkeepsie
La Guelaguetza, Waryas Park, Poughkeepsie

La Guelaguetza 

Every summer at Waryas Park, Poughkeepsie 

Oaxaca Week in Poughkeepsie culminates each summer with La Guelaguetza festival, a day-long celebration featuring traditional Oaxacan dances and costumes, artwork, crafts, live music, kids' activities and a whole lot of authentic Oaxacan food! Click here for updates on the 2024 event. 

Casa Ortega
Casa Ortega, Wappingers Falls (photo courtesy of @casaortegany)

Culinary Treats 

What is a celebration without food?! Here are some of our top authentic restaurants you absolutely must try!  

Hailing from the state of Oaxaca — the food capital of Mexico — La Cabanita: Cocina de Oaxaca in Poughkeepsie has been serving authentic Mexican cuisine right here in the Hudson Valley since 2003. Staying true to tradition, La Familia Pinelo-Cardenas captures a unique part of Oaxaca in each plate by using traditional slow-roasting techniques with only fresh ​herbs and spices. Bring your family and friends and try one of their delicious dishes made fresh from the griddle or a specialty cocktail! After a big plate of savory Oaxacan goodness, head over to El Chapulin Colorado in Poughkeepsie for authentic Mexican desserts. Choose from fresh fruit salads drizzled with chamoy (a spicy, honey-like sauce) or a pina loca, which is a whole pineapple stuffed with chunks of fruit! 

For the perfect empanada or dessert to go with a hot cup of coffee, visit Los Hornitos Bakery and Restaurant, a warm and welcoming Chilean shop in Wappingers Falls. Named after the famous Chilean restaurant where owners Hector and Monica first met, Los Hornitos pays tribute to their roots and nostalgic memories. Freshly baked bread and custom cakes are also available.  

"Bringing visitors La Isla Del Encanto (The Island of Enchantment) Inland One Dish At A Time," Cafe Con Leche is a family-owned and operated, authentic Puerto Rican eatery in Wappingers Falls. Chefs/owners Phil and Melodie serve up traditional plates from mofongo, pastelillos and pernil to new American concoctions like coquito latte and iced Bustelo coffee. One trip is not enough! Cafe con Leche was recently awarded Hudson Valley Magazine’s "Best of the Hudson Valley for Latin Cuisine and Best Caribbean Cuisine!" 

Also in Wappingers Falls, the Flores Tapas Bar brings a taste of Spain to the Hudson Valley with its flavorful tapas, shareable paellas and entrees and signature craft cocktails! Order the Flores Experience off the Chef's Menu and enjoy a sampling of Chef Austin Flores' signature dishes, including the Jamon Iberico. Muy delicioso! 

While in the area, quench your thirst at Casa Ortega, located in Wappingers Falls. A must-try is the refreshing Paloma made with tequila, grapefruit liqueur, freshly squeezed grapefruit, lime and passionfruit juice. If you want a bit of a kick, try the Kiwita made with vodka, peach liqueur, homemade kiwi marmalade and lime juice and served in a chili-powder-rimmed glass. This family-owned also specializes in modern and traditional Mexican cuisine, as chef Fermin Ortega cooks up lunch and dinner, as well as brunch on Saturdays and Sundays.  

If you’re hungry for more Puerto Rican flavors with a perfect balance of savory and sweet, stop by Izla in Fishkill. This casual dining restaurant offers made-to-order food with complex flavors but no processed ingredients. They strive to create dishes that have a feels-like-home taste using traditional preparation methods rooted in Caribbean and Spanish cuisine. 

Cafe Con Leche
Cafe Con Leche, Wappingers Falls (photo courtesy of @NYCafeConLeche)

The Coyote Flaco Mexican Bistro in Stanfordville offers a host of savory options for lunch and dinner, including a variety of fajita dishes for every palate (veggies, chicken, steak, shrimp and salmon) and plenty of grilled chicken and steak entrees. 

Head over to La Puerta Azul in Millbrook for a tasty variety of Mexican dishes, including an assortment of tacos, fajitas and burritos. Seafood lovers may want to try the blackened mahi-mahi tacos with cucumber, red onion and lime aioli or the camarones enchipotaldo, which is sauteed shrimp with a chipotle lime salsa, sweet corn rice, avocado and black beans. 

Tito Santana Taqueria in Beacon serves up all sorts of delicious Mexican dishes, including tacos, burritos and quesadillas. Keep it simple with the kale and sweet potato burrito bowl, which comes with rice, beans, corn, cheese, salsa and guacamole, or try something a bit more adventurous, like the Cubano quesadilla, which has pork, ham, Swiss cheese, pickles, mustard and mayonnaise. 

Keep in mind that each restaurant has its own business hours and some are closed on certain days. Be sure to check ahead! 

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