¡WEPA! NYC: Coming Together and Honoring Our Ancestors
“In this day of social media, it’s easy to lose touch with who we really are and the human connection. We are descendants of people who made sacrifices so that we could live a better life. Let’s keep their memory alive and share our heritage, especially with the children.”
“We are cultural and musical preservationists. We bring people together to honor our roots and pay homage to our ancestors through music, drum and dance. ¡WEPA! provides a foundation and shrine to experience the true meaning of tradition, joy and freedom.” _ Joann Jimenez and Antonio Ocasio (WEPA NYC)
On Saturday, ¡WEPA! NYC presents “Honoring Our Ancestors,” a free outdoor celebration at the East River Park Amphitheater that asks participants to “look back to our roots, and honor those who’ve gone before us,” event organizer Joann Jimenez explains. Such a simple request yet so easily overlooked. If you’re wondering what to expect, Jimenez offers some enlightenment to common questions below.
What do you mean by “bring an offering”?
This means whatever you feel it is to you. For some this means: something to share with the people (food, drink, games, etc). For some, it means something for the ancestral altar (photos, memorabilia, flowers, candles, fruits or other offerings for the Orishas (those people know what to bring). Drummers can donate by participating in the circle at sundown. Other musicians welcomed, too.
What do you mean by “donation”?
This means you volunteering your time to help us clean up, set up and breaking things down. It can also be money to help pay for costs: sound, truck rental, porto potty, supplies, sound permit, park permit, etc. It can also be you helping us spread the word. Or, bringing things that can be shared with others to make the experience better for everyone: blankets, food, drink, etc..
When is the celebration over?
We ‘technically’ have until 8 p.m. to be ‘full-on’. However, we can stay as long as we want depending, on how many people are there. And, if we behave, we might have a ‘sleep over’… wouldn’t that be fun? :o)
Suggestions: wear light colors (white is always best), come with a very positive attitude, know that you will have a great time and be with amazing company, bring anything your heart tells you to bring, also bring children and elders – they will thank you. And, last but not least, bring your true authentic self – we are waiting for YOU.