Nativity Story Inspires Census 2020 Talks
SAN JUAN – Sounds of Las Posadas, a Mexican tradition recalling the night Mary and Joseph were looking for a place to stay.
Families pack into La Union del Pueblo Entero’s hall every year as children anxiously await their gifts. Norma Aldape and her family have been coming for more than a decade.
“There are some people that perhaps don't have enough to buy a toy even though they're here in the United States. So, this brings happiness to children in these days of peace, harmony and love,” said Aldape. She is also a LUPE volunteer.
The message of hope is a constant. This year, one part of the Nativity story is especially highlighted.
“Ever since the time of the Bible, they were also practicing the census. It's nothing new. We know it's done every 10 years, but we know that people are not doing it out of fear,” explained Aldape.
People began feeling discouraged after talk that eventually failed of adding the citizenship question. Since then, LUPE has been looking for ways to positively encourage people to take part in a centuries-old tradition in spite of the fear.
“They're afraid. Fear that they are not documented so they don't feel like they count in this country. They won't want to be counted because of that fear,” said Aldape.
Aldape’s son strums a guitar as the children chant a familiar tune. Santa finally arrived delivering gifts, prompting smiles and good cheer.
As the music fades and the children start playing with the toys, LUPE is hoping the census message will last past December.