By Caelin Grambau, University of Pittsburgh English Writing & Spanish double major
Casa San Jose, Pittsburgh’s Latino Immigrant Resource Center, is set to hold their fourth annual fundraiser, Fiesta del Sol, on Friday, June 17th of 2022. While celebrations of years prior have been held online due to concerns from the pandemic, this year’s celebration is coming back in full force at the The Circuit Center Ballroom, located at 5 Hot Metal Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15203.
Fiesta del Sol is Casa San Jose’s biggest fundraiser, and helps to provide the resources for much of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania’s Latino communities, as well as connect members of the community as a whole. “In the past year alone, and over the course of the pandemic, Casa San Jose has grown from serving 400 to 4,000 members of the community”, says Executive Director Monica Ruiz. She also notes that they have become a food pantry, and opened a mental health services department and physical health services department in addition to their existing services.
The money raised from Fiesta del Sol will also be benefiting an exciting new journey for Casa San Jose as they begin a year and a half long process to renovate and move into a new building in Beechview. Currently, Casa San Jose rents out three different locations, but they are not able to provide the amount of programming that they would like to in these spaces, Ruiz explains. The new space will serve as the main headquarters for the organization, as well as a community center to serve Beechview and surrounding areas.
“The goal of the community center is to connect children and families from all communities”, Ruiz says. It will also help to continue Casa San Jose’s primary mission of supporting the Latino communities of Western Pennsylvania. Ruiz describes the space and the mission as a resource in the area for people to be “not only just surviving, but thriving”, and the funds raised from Fiesta del Sol are what makes that sort of thing possible.
All the sales from the tickets will directly benefit Casa San Jose’s new community center, and the current programs they plan to continue and expand upon. There are two tiers of ticket admission for Fiesta del Sol. The first ticket grants access when the doors open at 6 PM and is $100 per person with inclusive VIP access to all the amenities, including delicious Latin food, music and dancing. Later admission tickets are $30 per person. They will grant access at 8 PM, and light snacks will be included. There will also be a cash bar available to everyone throughout the evening, and a basket raffle.
Tickets for Fiesta del Sol can be purchased through Casa San Jose’s website at www.casasanjose.org or by contacting Sr. Karen at 412-974-2758 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tickets for the basket raffle can be purchased online.
While Fiesta del Sol is a fundraiser, there will only be two short speeches, as Ruiz and the Casa San Jose organization want the event to be a celebration of Casa San Jose, their work, and the community that is able to make it happen. There will be music, dancing, and delicious food. On behalf of Ruiz, and the whole Casa San Jose family, come out and enjoy good food and great company!