Hispanic Heritage Month

The Metuchen Downtown Alliance and the Metuchen Human Relations Commission are proud to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. We hope you join us as you shop and dine in Downtown Metuchen. Select posters displaying quotes from famous Hispanic people will be in store windows around Downtown Metuchen.

We will have a special Downtown Hispanic Celebration on Saturday September 25th.

This year’s theme – Esperanza – symbolizes hope, or esperança, and encourages us to reflect how great our tomorrow can be if we hold onto our resilience. It invites us to honor the contributions Hispanic and Latino individuals have made in the past and will continue to make in the future.

Join us across Downtown Metuchen businesses as we celebrate Hispanic businesses, civic leaders and community members with special events throughout town including a bachata & merengue band performance.


11am Opening with Sara Peña, Director of the Center for Hispanic Policy, Research and Development in the Department of State, local business owners and residents. Director Peña lives in Newark, New Jersey, along with her family, where she was born, raised and educated. Her mother was born in Ecuador and her father in Dominican Republic.

11:30am to 1pm Children’s story hour at NewMarket (19 New Street) with local guest readers.

1pm to 2:15pm Live Bachata & Merengue music at Pastry Lu (397 Main Street)

2pm to 2:15pm at NewMarket (19 New Street) Guest reader, Middlesex County Commissioner Claribel Cortes. Commissioner Cortes is the first Latina to serve as Middlesex County Surrogate and the first Latina constitutional officer in Middlesex County history. Since 2017, she has been vice-chair and a board member of the Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey, which represents more than 119,000 Hispanic-owned businesses throughout the State of New Jersey.

2:45 to 4pm Live Bachata & Merengue music at NewMarket (19 New Street)

Business Specials

Angie’s – Dominican baked goods and specials all day

DiCosmo’s – Specialty coconut ice

NewMarket Latina Pop-Up vendors (10am to 4pm), dominos tables (10am to 4pm) children’s story hour (11am to 1pm) and dia de los Muertos craft for kids (10am to 2pm)

Mariachi Mexican Restaurant – Mexican street food specialties including homemade guacomole & chips and elote (Mexican street corn)

Pastry Lu – Specialty Dominican desserts and made-to-order churros

What’s the Scoop – Specialty ice creams flavors including pina colada, dulce de leche and kids crafts (make your own maraca)

A little bit of mercy makes the world less cold and more just.
– Pope Francis (Jorge Mario Bergoglio, an Argentine is the first Latin American Pope)

Don’t speak unless you can improve the silence.
– Jorge Luis Borges, an Argentine short-story writer, essayist, poet and translator

Viva la huelga! Viva la causa! Viva la union!
– Cesar Chavez, Mexican-American labor leader and civil rights activist

If you have an opportunity to make things better and you don’t, then you are wasting your time on Earth.
– Roberto Clemente from Puerto Rico and one of the first Latin American baseball stars in the United States 

Fashion is a trend. Style lives within a person.
– Oscar de La Renta (Dominican fashion designer)

Every moment is an organizing opportunity, every person a potential activist, every minute a chance to change the world.
– Dolores Huerta (Dolores Clara Fernández Huerta is a Mexican-American labor leader and civil rights activist)

I am my own muse.
– Frida Kahlo (Magdalena Carmen Frida Kahlo y Calderón was a Mexican painter)

We were trained as writers with the idea that literature is something that can change reality, that it’s not just a very sophisticated entertainment, but a way to act.
– Mario Vargas Llosa (Peruvian writer and winner of the 2010 Nobel Prize in Literature)

It is not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old, they grow old because they stop pursuing dreams.
– Gabriel Garcia Marquez was a Colombian novelist, short-story writer, screenwriter, and journalist

The world is not going to change unless we change ourselves.
– Rigoberta Menchu Tum (Guatemalan human rights activist, feminist, and Nobel Peace Prize laureate)

That we are all individuals; that we are all human beings; that we are all connected together; and that we all have the same rights, the same freedom.
– Sylvia Mendez who received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011, was a child when she was turned away from a California public school for “whites only.” Sylvia’s case (Mendez v. Westminster), which was decided in the federal courts in California, preceded Brown by about eight years.  Thurgood Marshall represented Sylvia Mendez and Linda Brown.  Marshall used some of the same arguments from Mendez to win Brown v. Board of Education.

Don’t be afraid to reach for the stars.
– Dr. Ellen Ochoa (Dr. Ochoa became the first Hispanic woman to go to space, her family is of Mexican descent)

The Latina in me is an ember than blazes forever.
– Judge Sonia Sotomayer (First Latina US Supreme Court Judge, from Puerto Rico)