Annual Latino Book and Family Festival Returns to MiraCosta Campus

The annual Latino Book and Family Festival returns to MiraCosta College on Saturday, with more than 100 exhibitors including authors and resources for education, children, food and health.

Over 30 award-winning authors of works of all genres written by or about Latinos will be featured. The festival will also include entertainment, a children’s stage, bilingual activities, workshops, food and books.

Kicking off the festival is the 2002 film “Real Women Have Curves,” starring America Ferrera, which will be screened at 7 p.m. Friday at the MiraCosta Little Theater. The screening celebrates the 20th anniversary of the film written by Chicana playwright Josefina López.

The festival opens at 10 a.m. Saturday with appearances from U.S. Representative Mike Levin, MiraCosta College Superintendent/President and CEO Sunita Cooke, and San Diego County District 5 Supervisor Jim Desmond. Desmond and Levin will pay tribute to North County Latino elected officials.

The festival’s keynote speakers will be López at noon and “Rain of Gold” author Victor Villaseñor at 1 p.m. López is the author of several plays, including “Boyle Heights” and “Real Women Have Curves”. Villaseñor is the author of four national bestsellers and has been nominated three times for the Pulitzer Prize. He was also the founding president of the Steinbeck Institute in Salinas. He has written several screenplays, including the award-winning “The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez”, as well as bilingual children’s books..

Several performances are scheduled on the main stage: the Bear Valley Middle School dance team (11 a.m.); Tierra Caliente Academy of Arts Ballet Folklórico and singer Maya Jaimes (12:30 p.m.); Ballet Folklórico Cultural San Bernardino (1:30 p.m.); and Vista Unified School District Grapevine Elementary Choir Group (2:30 p.m.).

The workshops include:

  • 10:30 a.m.: “How to market our Latin American books”, open discussion, Esther Reyes Jones, room 3517
  • 11 a.m.: “Write and illustrate your own poem “Nopal””, Vibiana Chamberlin, room 3516
  • 11:30 a.m.: “Social emotional awareness in children”, Cecilia Caballero, room 3517
  • 1:30 p.m.: “Books for good trouble”, Beatrice Zamora, room 3517
  • 1:30 p.m.: Taller: “The importance of financial education in the family”, Adriana Brunner, room 3516
  • 2:30 p.m. “The Secret Sauce for Self-Publishing a Selling Nonfiction Book,” Sylvia Melena, room 3517

The festival’s goals include raising awareness among Latino families, highlighting the importance of literacy, and promoting awareness of college and community resources. Visit

Latino Book and Family Festivals are held in major Latino markets nationwide and are run by the Fallbrook-based nonprofit Empowering Latino Futures. They were launched in Los Angeles in 1997 and co-produced by award-winning actor and community activist Edward James Olmos to promote literacy, culture and education.

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