Latinos Salud’s Food Bazaar Big Success 

the Cuban table

Hundreds came out to sample dozens of dishes from more than 15 Latin American cuisines last week for Latinos Salud’s eighth annual Hispanic Heritage Food Bazaar.

“I want you to think of this, almost like a Thanksgiving dinner,” said Stephen Fallon, executive director of Latinos Salud. “For many years, people assumed, that's your Thanksgiving dinner. And they’re not allowed to attend because they’re not Latino, or they’re not a member of the agency. And what we wanted to say to them ‘benvenuto,’ you are more than welcome here. We are opening our hearts and our tables to you.”

Each table at the event represented a different Latin American country and cuisine. Thirteen countries were represented this year, up from 12 last year. More than 250 people attended throughout the evening. 

“Volunteers at each table dressed in traditional attire, and decorated booths with flags and other hallmarks of their heritage,” said Joshua Caraballo, Research and Evaluation Coordinator for Latinos Salud. “Each year, the staff and members introduce the agency to the community at large, through the senses. Guests heard, smelled, and shared in foods prepared by members, while also learning what they can do to stay safe from or live healthier with HIV.”

Three prizes were given out for best food (Colombia), best decorations (Mexico), and best traditional dress (Brazil). 

The event celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month and commemorates National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day.

“We come together as a community, then we solve problems. And one of the problems we have here in South Florida, is that we are the epicenter of the HIV and AIDS,” Fallon noted. 

He went on to point out that Miami-Dade and Broward counties are the number 1 and 2 counties in the U.S. for new HIV infections. 

Caraballo added to that saying 24 percent of people living with HIV in the U.S. are Hispanic, and 77 percent of those folks are men who sleep with men.

So Latinos Salud works hard every day, trying to help people stay safe from, or live healthier with HIV,” Fallon told the crowd. “So what we want you to do today is to make new friends, support one another and join us in the fight against HIV and AIDS by simply doing two things. Number one, protecting yourself. If you're HIV negative stay that way. If you're HIV positive, stay in care because you have a long life ahead of you. And number two, this is the tougher one, I want you to please call people out. If you hear anybody saying anything stigmatizing about our friends living with HIV and AIDS.”

 Check out SFGN's previous story @

Food Bazaar on Friday to Showcase Latin American Cuisines