The kickoff event of the Veronica Robles Cultural Center (VROCC) 2017 Summer arts-integrated programs took place on Wednesday, July 19th at Lewis Mall as part of the East Boston Farmers Market. These free weekly public programs include the Healthy Living Through Art and Culture Initiative, and the Dancing Elotes Experience.

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Up-left to right: Veronica Robles, Emilio Rabasa Gamboa, Consul of Mexico, John Alexander Pinillos, Leslie Acosta, Johan Sepúlveda, Lorene Schettino, East Boston Foundation, Yida Mora, Consul of Colombia, Ruddy Lennyn, Consul of El Salvador, Nick Ayala. Down-Left to right: Dylan Thornton, Ethan Shepherd.

The ceremony was prepared and led by youth staff Nick Ayala and Ethan Shepherd, while the Elote (Corn on the cob) team were busy serving the corn: Dylan Thornton, Leslie Acosta Lemus, Johan Sepulveda, and John Pinillos.  On the other side of the market, Giselle Ayala and Anthony Steven Puertas were in charge of the art table, assisting artist in residence Lydia Perez with the creation of Puerto Rican masks (Vejigantes).


Left to Right: Nick Ayala, Alejandra St. Guillen, Director of the Mayor’s Office for Immigrant Advancement. Ethan Shepherd

VROCC dancers Yaritza Lopez, Jacqueline and Alicia Ramirez also participated in the mask making and later on delighted the audience with a dance performance representing El Salvador. This was followed by a brief presentation by artist in residence Lydia Perez, and then her daughter Gidell Rivera sang and played the drums with the rest of the dancers .

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Left to Right: Yaritza Lopez, Jacqueline and Alicia Ramirez


“VROCC has empowered the youth in East Boston by employing them and teaching them about their roots and culture through this cultural initiative and they have effectively utilized the power of the arts and culture to bring the community together by raising awareness on the importance of diversity”. Alejandra St. Guillen, Director of the Mayor’s Office for Immigrant Advancement

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“In the current political context, the unity is important therefore I invite all to participate in activities like this to get to know each other’s cultures to create an atmosphere of respect, acceptance, understanding and solidarity that translates into harmonious growth of our communities. Congratulations to VROCC that provides spaces to implement ideas that promote youth development and provide them with tools to succeed on their goals.”. Emilio Rabasa Gamboa, Consul General of Mexico in Boston.

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“This is the type of events that East Boston Foundation love to support, and are happy to be here to see where our funds actually go and the people that are positively affected’. Lorene Schettino, East Boston Foundation, Executive Director


Shirley buying elote


“We loved to participate and support Veronica Robles Cultural Center events or initiatives because they provide amazing opportunities to our youth where they can learn about different cultures and their similarities”.  Shirley Fajardo, Operations Manager, East Boston APAC Action for Boston Community Development.


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VROCC thank you for inviting us to this event as a Latin American community, because in this way we do not speak about nationalities or a single country, instead we speak about Latin American as a group, and united we advocate on behalf of all the good people who we come from these beautiful countries to contribute to their communities. Yida Ximena Mora Silva, Consul General of Colombia in Boston


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“These kinds of initiatives are important to unite our cultures, traditions and why not, our hearts”.Ruddy Lennyn Lazo, Consul General of El Salvador in Boston

Community partners of these programs include East Boston Neighborhood Health Center, Let’s Get moving, ABCD, EBECC, Lutheran Church on Paris St., La Cancun Restaurant, KO Pies and Catering, Star Branding and Ernesto Upholstery, Cecilia Bardales, CB Tax Unlimited.


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Another satisfied costumer


Back by popular demand,  Veronica Robles Cultural Center Dancing Elotes Experience returns to East Boston Farmers Market every Wednesday from 3 to 6:30 PM as part of our free weekly 2017 Summer arts-integrated public programs. This summer’s VROCC  Artist In Residence is Puerto Rican Teaching Artist Lydia Perez, who will be conducting a series of workshops and performances about Puerto Rican Culture for the community of East Boston.



COnsul of El Salvador Mr. Lennin and Consul Of Colimbia Ms. Mora about to try delicious Elote Loco sold by the youth staff!!


This part of the project is funded in part by the New England States Touring program of the New England Foundation for the Arts, which is made possible with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts Regional Touring Program and the six New England state arts agencies.  The East Boston Foundation also supports this project.


VROCC seeks to expand current offerings of dance styles to include Bomba and Plena, traditional music and dance styles that developed during the Spanish colonization of Puerto Rico. The program includes traditional instruments, dance, mask making, and costume showcasing.


Current VROCC members will be trained by Lydia so they can teach this tradition to younger members and showcase this art form at several free community festivals and cultural events throughout the year.



Workshop schedule:

  • Tuesdays from 5:30 to 7:30 PM at the VROCC location on 175 William F. McClellan Highway
  • Wednesdays Lydia will lead mask making (Vejigantes) workshops at East Boston Farmers Market at Lewis Mall from 4PM to 6 PM.
  • Sunday, August 20th from 2 to 6 PM the residency will conclude with a Bombazo Carnival, a public performance with Lydia , VROCC students and community members at VROCC location  on 175 William F. McClellan Highway.



Community partners of these programs include East Boston Neighborhood Health Center, Let’s Get moving, ABCD, EBECC, Lutheran Church on Paris St., La Cancun Restaurant, KO Pies and Catering, Star Branding and Ernesto Upholstery, Cecilia Bardales, CB Tax Unlimited.


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The VROCC mission is to Promote Latin American Arts and Culture as Engine for stronger community and economic growth by inspiring, teaching and perpetuating cultural traditions through dance and music to foster family values and help bring general community together. Our dance group reaches over 5,000 through the year on public performances. The VROCC performing group aspires to include dances that represent all countries of Latin-America; and currently we feature dance from Peru, Colombia, Mexico, Chile, El Salvador, and Bolivia, Argentina, Brazil, and Dominican Republic.


For more information about workshop schedule visit