AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – A local non-profit is looking to share the customs, arts, and dance of Latin America with the High Plains community. Rayenari is hoping through their performances they can connect local Hispanics with their culture and share experiences and stories with others in the area.
Rayenari means sol or sun and according to Everardo Meza, one of the directors of the organization, the reason for the name is because the sun shines on everyone.
Fellow director, Héctor Portillo said the organization has three goals:
“The first is to enrich with our audience the knowledge about the Latin-American culture, our second goal is to provide our students a safe space where they can develop their personal development and our third goal is to preserve all the Latin-American cultures as much as possible for our audience,” said Portillo.
Portillo added the best thing about being an artist is you can channel what you want to say through a particular medium.
“If I want to say I do really care where I come from or represent where my mom is from, or where my dad is, where my customs are. Experiencing that and transmitting that to our audience is one of the best experiences we can have,” said Portillo
One of the dancers in Rayenari, Erika Martinez said she has been a part of the group since the beginning and added it’s cool to learn more about her culture.
“You get to see the different dances and the different states in Mexico dance,” said Martinez.
Alongside sharing dance in the community through their dance group, Rayenari has also partnered with Amarillo college to create the Amarillo Community Latin-American orchestra.
In November, the organization will be hosting the Mexican Arts Festival at the Amarillo Globe-News Center for the Performing Arts in which they will not only highlight music and dance.
“That’s a big place, so more people. More spirit. More happiness,” said Elizabeth Reimer, another director of Rayenari.
“We are looking for people who know art, if they want to paint something or any different kind of art, that is going to be the perfect place to share what they do and it will be a pleasure for us to show them we have a Latin community with a lot of talent,” added Meza.
That Mexican Arts Festival will be held on Nov. 20, which Rayenari said is significant as it falls on Revolution Day, a day marking the start of what became the Mexican Revolution.
Portillo said as for the future of the organization it will continue to grow.
Rayenari said they are still looking for sponsors and donations for the Mexican Arts Festival and added due to the size of the event any resource would be a help.