Letters to the Editor

Praise for Kiwanis, Calle Ocho Festival

For some, Calle Ocho, or Southwest Eighth Street, is nothing more than a street in Miami, while for others it is one of the world’s largest day-long Latino street festivals.

However, for most who consider themselves part of the local Hispanic community, Calle Ocho, which was held earlier this month, is actually much more than that.

The history of Little Havana and the Kiwanis Club of Little Havana are forever intertwined, and we are proud to note that our events highlight the best that our community has to offer, all the while enlightening the path of progress so that every child has the opportunity to fulfill their ultimate potential.

Calle Ocho celebrates Miami being the epicenter of Latino life and culture, and serves as a reminder of our own families’ journeys to the land of opportunity — from the sacrifices made to the traditions that have survived in times of struggle and success.

Throughout its 40-year history, the Calle Ocho Festival has received overwhelming support, as well as its share of criticism — many times because of the actions and poor decisions of a few individuals.

Today, we continue to thank all of those who have been focused on what matters most and remember that Calle Ocho and other Carnaval Miami efforts serve a greater purpose.

For the past 40 years, it has allowed the Kiwanis of Little Havana Foundation to develop youth programs that impact thousands of families annually, including holiday giving, scholarships, youth summer camps, back to school and more.

This is why Calle Ocho and Carnaval Miami have been thriving for the last 40 years.

So, for those of you who ask why this event still takes place year after year, let me leave you with this.

It’s around because it allows us to serve you — our community, our youth — for a better tomorrow.

Jerry Fernandez,


Kiwanis Club of Little