CLAS Latin American & Caribbean Festival

40th Annual Latin American & Caribbean Festival


The 40th Latin American & Caribbean Festival has been POSTPONED to October 2, 2021. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns about the festival, please email Luz Amanda Hank at or Jessica Craft at

A Little Bit of History...

In the year 1979, one afternoon on an average work day at CLAS, Carmelo Mesa-Lago (Director), June Belkin (Assistant to the Director), and Shirley Kregar (Assistant Director) were discussing the forthcoming year's activities. They wondered, "What can we do to promote cultural awareness of Latin American cultures in Pittsburgh, involving the Latin American groups living in Pittsburgh and in neighboring areas?" Shirley said, "Let's have a Latin American Festival!" At that time, no one could foresee that the Festival would grow to its actual size and that ten years later it would be considered not only of the most important cultural events at the University level, but more importantly, city-wide! Shirley suggested the idea, but Alan Adelman was the one who organized and implemented the set up for the first festival; a lot of his original ideas are still in use today.

The Latin American and Caribbean Festival has had many years of success and every year it seems to improve in the number and quality of groups that participate and the scope of media coverage. This brings us the 40th edition of the festival, and as the Latino and Hispanic population in Pittsburgh continues to grow, it makes the Festival one of the largest gatherings of Latinos in Western Pennsylvania.

The Mission of the festival is to showcase the cultures of Latin America in Pittsburgh and to inform the students and the general public of the resources that can be found in Pittsburgh

Everything you need to know about transportation, parking, accessibility, and more!

Interested in becoming a sponsor of the Latin American & Caribbean Festival? For more Information click here.

This year marks the 40th annual Latin American & Caribbean Festival.

An update on this year's Festival

The Staff at the Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS) at the University of Pittsburgh has made the decision to postpone the 40th Latin American and Caribbean Festival because it is unlikely that large gatherings of this nature will be possible without significant public health concerns surrounding COVID-19 this Spring. As we had originally targeted April 10, 2021 for our Latin American and Caribbean Festival, and we must move cautiously through COVID-19 risk mitigation, we aim to hold a hybrid virtual event, with various live performances over two days.

First and foremost, we prioritize the safety of the participants, vendors, and the general public and we want to celebrate this joyous event with peace of mind. For that reason, we are also optimistically planning for a live, in-person 40th Latin American and Caribbean Festival for October 2, 2021, (held in the same location—Wesley W. Posvar Hall Patio), if University and City of Pittsburgh guidelines allow us to have a safe event. We also plan to move the annual Festival celebration to the Fall for the foreseeable future. For now, we hope that the April 10th event allows us to maintain connection and give a preview of the type of activities we hope to engage in. More information will be provided soon.

Jessica Craft, our Administrative & Program Assistant, will be the Festival Coordinator. This year she will be working alongside Luz Amanda Hank, Assistant Director for Partnerships and Programming, to organize the 40th Edition of the Festival. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Luz Amanda Hank at

We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and look forward to seeing you in the Spring—mark your calendars: Saturday, October 2, 2021.

40th Annual Latin American & Caribbean Festival

Saturday, October 2, 2021

Wesley W. Posvar Hall Patio

3:00 - 9:00 p.m.


To see photos from last year's Festival, click on the Photo Gallery below. (Photos by Michael Peeler)


Photo Gallery