Meet Mi Pueblo
“Mi Pueblo” in Spanish means – my nation, my people, or my village.
Mi Pueblo is a nonprofit Latin American Culture Camp for Latino children and their siblings, with special outreach to Latino adoptees and children of Latino adoptees. The Camp is held the third week of June each year.
For 30 years Mi Pueblo has brought families together from all over the Midwest and beyond to Cleveland Heights, Ohio, for a fun and educational experience to learn about Latino culture.
Mi Pueblo is sponsored by the non-profit adoption family support group, Concern for Children, Inc. The Camp provides children and teens ages 2 years to 19 years with a positive and fun environment in which they may learn about Latino culture and can gain pride in both their heritage and themselves. Classes in dance, music, games, crafts, culture and Spanish language all focus upon the traditions of Latin American countries and Latino culture in the US.
In addition, campers are treated to special guests throughout the week. Past years have included presentations of live Latin American animals, Latino artists and immigrants who talk about growing up in their native lands and/or cultures. Latino bands, dance and theater groups, and story tellers, have entertained campers. Our kitchen provides a hot lunch of
Latin American recipes each day. Culminating the week’s activities is a Fiesta celebration on Friday night. Campers, dressed in traditional and modern costumes, present dances and songs they learned during the week. Each year Camp activities focus upon a theme. Recent themes have included “Encanto,” “Festivales y Momentos Felices – Festivals and Happy Moments!”, “Latin America Through the 20th Century” and “The Nature of Latin America.”
The classes at the Camp are taught by members of the Cleveland Latino community, giving campers positive role models who share their heritage. All other Camp operations are covered by more than 50 volunteers. Over twenty teens participated in our first full week Teen Program in 2022, and other teens and young adult volunteers, many of who were adopted from Latin America, volunteer to help operate the Camp. The campers develop a special bond with the teens, seeing young adults who are “just like me.” A special evening for the teens is held during the week of camp.
The wonderful thing about Mi Pueblo is how amazing it is to see such a beneficial activity blossom forth seemingly from nothing each year for one week, drawing families from all over Ohio and the country who, in just 5-7 days, rekindle or enkindle friendships and immerse children, teens and adults in Latin American culture and an adoptee-family atmosphere.
Information about Mi Pueblo is disseminated through our newsletter, La Prensa de Mi Pueblo.
Email the Camp Director, Bill Gruber at GruberWL@aol.com
So many people are involved behind the scenes to make the CFC: Mi Pueblo Culture Camp happen.
Meet our dedicated Staff! (Photos by Joe Nowak)
Bill Gruber, Director
Luz Elena Klopp (Spanish)
Our Dedicated Kitchen Staff: Jim, Pat, Tac, Donna, Bill, Marylin, Cathy, Dennis, Tammy Claudia, Reina, Donna, Jim, Meg [not all pictured]
Dance: Monica Olivera
Games: Doug Palus, David Dessoffy
Music: Patricia Bussert
Crafts: Mariela Silberberg
Spanish: Luz Elena Klopp
Culture: Ella De la Garza
Bill Gruber, Camp Director
Cindy Palus, Operations and Special Events
Ana Burpee, Curriculum Coordinator
Peg LeRoy, HR Coordinator
Liz Dessoffy, Volunteer Coordinator
Laura Watilo Blake, Marketing