On Saturday, July 13, 2019, Mayor Alberto G. Santos, the Town Council and members of the Peruvian Civic Association of New Jersey (PCANJ) dedicated the new Peruvian Heritage Park and Monument at Riverbank Park in Kearny, which recognize the contributions of Kearny’s Peruvian community. At the ceremony, the United States and Peruvian flags were raised, followed by remarks by Peruvian Consul General Yvan Solari Calvo, Mayor Santos and PCANJ President Hugo Tejeda. In addition to the unveilings of the monument and park sign, there were performances by Peruvian folkloric dancers.
During his remarks, Mayor Santos emphasized that the ceremony was a celebration of both Peruvian heritage and American integration, of an immigrant community that has become part of the American fabric – the fabric of service to the community, service in our nation’s armed forces, ownership of businesses, leadership in religious life, and participation in public institutions. He further noted that, “This park and monument are a tribute to the United States of America and to communities like Kearny, who welcomed immigrants from Peru and other countries, who opened the door and allowed us to work, to be free, to succeed and to give back.” At Kearny’s Riverbank Park there are monuments erected over the years by other proud immigrant communities, including Italian-Americans, Irish-Americans, Lithuanian-Americans, Scots-Americans, and Portuguese-Americans. Each of the monuments celebrates both heritage and pride in being American.
(Photos by Barbara Goldberg)