Unidos En La Música, Castillo De San Marcos National Monument, and Fort Matanzas National Monument Connect Latino Music with St. Augustine’s 400-year Latino Heritage

Monday, April 25, 2022NPF News
NATIONAL PARK FOUNDATION FUNDS EFFORT TO STRENGTHEN CULTURAL ENGAGEMENT WITH LATINO COMMUNITIES AND CELEBRATE LATINO CULTURE, INCLUDING FAMILY NIGHT SCREENING OF OSCAR-WINNER "ENCANTO"

ST. AUGUSTINE – Unidos En La Música: A Latin American Festival returns to St. Augustine on Saturday, May 7 with a strategic partnership with Castillo de San Marcos National Monument and Fort Matanzas National Monument, thanks to support from the National Park Foundation’s Latino Heritage Fund. This new partnership will bridge Latino music-goers to the city’s Latino heritage sites dating back over 400 years. Taking place on Saturday, May 7 from 10:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. at Francis Field located at 25 W Castillo Dr, St. Augustine, the festival’s highly anticipated Músical lineup will feature Grammy-award winning Salsa Legends Grupo Niche from Colombia, Baba Caiman, Los Ineditos del Vallenato and Fuisha Funk from Mexico.

“Castillo de San Marcos and Fort Matanzas National Monuments are proud to join St. Augustine’s largest Latino event that brings tens of thousands of Latino families together for the weekend,” said Gordie Wilson, superintendent of Castillo de San Marcos and Fort Matanzas National Monuments. “Through the spirit of music and culture, we join Unidos En La Música to celebrate St. Augustine’s rich Latino heritage and community and the role of Latino heritage sites within our national parks in preserving and telling these stories.”

As the cultural sponsor of the Unidos En La Música music festival, Castillo de San Marcos and Fort Matanzas National Monuments will kick off the weekend event with a “Movie Night at the Fort,” featuring a special screening of Disney’s Oscar-winning animation film Encanto. At the music festival on Saturday, the parks will host activities including an exhibit booth with information on St. Augustine’s Spanish heritage, living history volunteers depicting soldiers from the 1700s, Junior Ranger activities for kids of all ages, national park ranger law enforcement and local first responder vehicles and giveaways.

"The National Park Foundation’s Latino Heritage Fund program is excited to support this wonderful event that celebrates the diversity of Latino culture through national parks," said Adrena Ifill, director of history and culture at the National Park Foundation. “Latino history is a vibrant part of U.S. history, and the Latino Heritage Fund’s mission is to preserve and elevate Latino stories across the National Park System, including sites like Castillo de San Marcos and Fort Matanzas national monuments.”

As St. Augustine’s largest Latino event, Unidos En La Música will feature live music, dance groups, food and games throughout the day. Guests can enjoy special salsa and bachata workshops led by World Champions Emily and Raul, as well as Romi and Alex from Miami. Over 75 authentic market vendors and 14 Latin food trucks will be on-site to showcase the distinctive style and range of Latin American food, crafts and textiles.

“As founders of Unidos En La Música: A Latin American Festival it is a great honor to connect St. Augustine’s iconic national monuments to our Festival and Heritage,” said Erika Weitz CEO of Latin Community Services 501c3 Nonprofit based in St. Augustine. “When Latino community members think of ‘San Agustin,’ we picture the sights of Castillo and Fort Matanzas and the sounds of Latino music coming from Francis Field in the summertime. This is a partnership committed to the celebration of Latino culture, past, present and future.”

For more information or questions about the event, please contact Steven Roberts, chief of interpretation, education and visitor service at Castillo de San Marcos and Fort Matanzas National Monuments, at 904-829-6506, ext. 222.

Illustrated collage depicting images from Castillo de San Marcos and Fort Matanzas National Monuments
Karen Ceballos

ABOUT UNIDOS EN LA MÚSICA
A Latin American Festival: In its second year, Unidos En La Música: A Latin American Festival celebrates Latin American culture through world class music, authentic food, dance, vendors and cultural exhibitions. Our mission is to spread knowledge of true Latino culture, to engage and inspire, to break through language barriers, to unify.

ABOUT CASTILLO DE SAN MARCOS NATIONAL MONUMENT AND FORT MATANZAS NATIONAL MONUMENT
Built by the Spanish in St. Augustine to defend Florida and the Atlantic Trade Route, Castillo de San Marcos National Monument preserves the oldest masonry fortification in the continental United States and interprets more than 450 years of cultural intersections. Fort Matanzas National Monument preserves the fortified watchtower, completed in 1742, which defended the southern approach to the Spanish military settlement of St. Augustine and protects approximately 300 acres of Florida coastal environment.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL PARK FOUNDATION
The National Park Foundation works to protect wildlife and park lands, preserve history and culture, educate and engage youth and connect people everywhere to the wonder of parks. We do it in collaboration with the National Park Service, the park partner community and with the generous support of donors, without whom our work would not be possible. Learn more at nationalparks.org.