Puerto Rican pride and summer-like sunny weather out in full force at the Springfield Puerto Rican Parade on September 16. Gándara’s Hope for Holyoke recovery center brought the message of the power of recovery to the festivities with many HFH members, clad in their purple t-shirts, marching and riding on their float.
“This is really great because we get to celebrate Puerto Rican culture that is so prominent in Holyoke and Springfield,” said Hope for Holyoke Program Director Deb Flynn-Gonzalez. “And we also celebrate recovery, especially since it’s National Recovery Month. So it’s awesome that we can get our message out—that recovery is possible—to all these people.”
Marching behind Hope for Holyoke’s float was a contingent from the Tapestry Health organization. Hope for Holyoke and Tapestry had co-hosted the Overdose Awareness Vigil on August 31, which was International Overdose Awareness Day.
The parade them this year was ¡Puerto Rico Vive! in honor of those on the island who were relocated to the mainland after Hurricanes Irma and Maria devastated Puerto Rico a year ago. Last October, the Gándara Center offered counseling services and held a fundraiser for victims of the storms, and Gándara’s Family Resource Center held an acupuncture clinic to help reduce the evacuees’ stress.