WASHINGTON, N.C. (WNCT) — Washington hosted its inaugural Hispanic Heritage Festival in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month at Festival Park on Saturday.

“More than anything, we just want to make this a celebration for the Latino community,” said Abigail Cabrera, Latino Community Outreach Coordinator for the City of Washington.

“We have services offered in the city that a lot of people may not know about because of a language barrier. So I believe this is a great opportunity to learn more about what the city has to offer as well as our community partners.”

“We have a large Hispanic population here in Beaufort County, so it’s really wonderful that they’re recognizing it, recognizing the value that they bring to our community, and we also want them to be aware of the services that are provided for them,” said Pam Brinn with the Beaufort County Health Department.

“Well. I just like seeing all the community out here and it’s very nice, the weather is nice, it’s a little windy so it’s perfect,” said Mercedes Benitez with the Beaufort County Health Department.

The first Hispanic Heritage Festival of its kind in Washington, for Cabrera, it means a lot to see her culture celebrated.

“It means everything,,” Cabrera said. “I think being able to celebrate a culture, that there just hasn’t been a lot of celebration for the culture anywhere, and I think it means not only to me as a Mexican American but also to many people who have never been celebrated in their culture in a country that isn’t their home.”

“As a Hispanic person, I’m very glad the city decided to do something like this and celebrate all the Hispanics in our community its just very awesome,” Benitez said.

“m”My favorite part of the day is definitely seeing the people and seeing that a community that cares not only for their residents but also wanting to reach an audience that hasn’t been reached before,” Cabrera said.