Summer kicks off in Baltimore with Latino Fest

The 34th Annual Latino Fest is bringing in summer with a bang.
 
Organizers say it's all about bringing the community together and celebrating the diversity of Latino culture. 
 
"Many people think that Latinos are all one, because they share a language. But the fact of the matter is that from country to country, things are very different so even some of the Latinos are experiencing for the first time here, the other cultures," Michael Carnahan, President of Education Based Latino Outreach, said.  
 
The impact of the weekend goes beyond just two days.
 
All the proceeds benefit Education Based Latino Outreach, which is an organization dedicated to improving the lives of the Hispanic community.
 
"We have lots of programs that we run that are education based. We have after school programs in Baltimore city schools that help English learners to develop skills. Help them with reading, with math and various skills that they need so they can be not only competitive but also on an equal playing field as their peers," Carnahan said. 
 
"Things are improving, but they need to be better. Especially given the fact that our community continues to grow," Samuel Rodriguez, Entertainment and Art Director for Latino Fest 2014, said. 
 
He told ABC2 his top priorities when discussing a change for the Latino community include access to education, training and jobs. 
 
That year round work for EBLO to help make that difference will continue as soon as the biggest event of the year is over. 
 
"We want people to feel welcome. All people, no matter who you are, where you're from, what you look like, we don't care. We want you to come and enjoy this with us," Carnahan said. 
 
Latino Fest is the biggest cultural and fundraising event for EBLO. It continues at Patterson Park on Sunday, June 22 from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. 
 
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