Hispanic Heritage represents the Latino community’s rich culture. However, that culture often stays on the outskirts in some of Bonita Springs’ activities.
Juan Romero, founder of Casa Mexico, a program committed to showcasing Latino culture in the Southwest Florida, saw this issue and decided to work with Mayor Peter Simmons to improve that. He believes the divide may be due to social and economic differences among residents.
The solution? Soccer. The Bonita Springs Mayor’s Cup allows dozens of men and women to compete in soccer tournaments. Now in its 11th year, the hope is that the cup will help establish diversity and inclusion in the community.
Residents get to see Mayor Simmons out of his office playing on the soccer field, working hand in hand with Latino community advocates. During the soccer event, you can also enjoy traditional Mexican dances where men and women dress in vibrant two-piece suits. Feathers branch off from their shoulders as they perform their cultural dances. Tacos and other dishes filled with Sabor Latino screams of a comforting heritage beyond the shores.
“We’re not ‘North Bonita.’ We’re not ‘South Bonita.’ We’re not ‘East Bonita.’ We’re not ‘West Bonita.’ We are Bonita Springs.” – Mayor Peter Simmons
Rhymic drums set the beat of the newfound harmony between cultures in Bonita Springs.
The Bonita Springs Mayor Cup creates an opportunity for people to have healthy conversations about inclusion. It addresses the need for more diversity in the area and encourages steps of change to become a more united community.
To get a glimpse of what the Mayor’s Cup and Casa Mexico have accomplished, see the video below.