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Presenting some of Woodburn's top señoritas

The Fiesta queen and first princess will be crowned Aug. 2


by: LINDSAY KEEFER - The 2014 Woodburn Fiesta Mexicana Court was announced last week. Their first appearance as a group was at Cascade Park Retirement Community. The girls are (back, from left) Betsai Lopez Muñoz, Alejandra Hernandez, Amelia Robles, Celiflora Gaspar, Mirtha Arellano and (front) Yelitza Santiago Sanchez. The group, coached by coordinator Marta Trinidad, will make appearances in and around Woodburn before the crowning of the queen and first princess the first day of Fiesta, Aug. 2. Fiesta Mexicana has been a tradition in Woodburn for 50 years, and along with the tradition of the festival is the tradition of having a Fiesta queen.

This year, the Fiesta Court is made up of six young ladies representing three small high schools in Woodburn.

This year, the coronation ceremony will be held Saturday of the Fiesta, Aug. 2.

The Fiesta princesses will spend the next few months leading up to Fiesta representing Woodburn at events in and outside of town. They will attend the Miss Oregon Pageant in Seaside in July and will even be part of the Rose Parade in Portland. The goal, according to coordinator Marta Trinidad, is for them to gain confidence, poise and public speaking skills while representing Woodburn, and especially the Hispanic community, in a positive light.

At the coronation, a first princess and queen will be chosen. The first princess will receive a semester of free tuition from Chemeketa Community College and the queen will receive a whole year. She will also have the opportunity to lead the others in the parade later that day.

The following girls are juniors and seniors at Woodburn High School who have been named to the 2014 Fiesta Mexicana Court. The court members will represent Woodburn in various events throughout the Willamette Valley leading up to Fiesta Mexicana, which is Aug. 2-3. The Fiesta queen and first princess will be crowned the first day of the festival.

Mirtha Arellano

by: LINDSAY KEEFER - Mirtha Arellano

Mirtha is a junior at Woodburn Arts and Communications Academy

What extracurricular or volunteering activities have you participated in?Cheerleading, volunteering with Junior Bulldog cheerleaders

What are your future goals? I want to be a medical oncologist or a neonatologist.

What do you think of Fiesta? My family enjoys it. It’s a summer tradition.

Why did you join the Fiesta Court? I signed up because I wanted to learn more about the community. I think it will help me with my communications skills and leadership skills.

Yelitza Santiago Sanchez

by: LINDSAY KEEFER - Yelitza Santiago Sanchez

Yelitza is a senior at Woodburn Academy of Art, Science and Technology

What extracurricular or volunteering activities have you participated in? Link crew, On Track OHSU, AWARE Food Bank, migrant summer school program

What are your future goals? I want to be a pharmacist.

What do you think of Fiesta? I attended it a couple times when I was little. Now I think it’s gotten a lot bigger.

Why did you join the Fiesta Court? It’s my last year here in Woodburn (before graduation) so I wanted to really learn what Woodburn is all about. I didn’t know about a lot of opportunities. I regret not doing more in the community earlier.

Celiflora Gaspar

by: LINDSAY KEEFER - Celiflora Gaspar

Celiflora is a junior at Woodburn Academy of Art, Science and Technology

What extracurricular or volunteering activities have you participated in? Volunteering at Nellie Muir and Lincoln elementary schools, for things like the book fair and reading to students

What are your future goals? I want to become an immigration lawyer.

What do you think of Fiesta? When I was in fourth grade, we went for the first time and I saw the princess. It caught my attention.

Why did you join the Fiesta Court? I really want to learn more about my community and be more involved.

Alejandra Hernandez

by: LINDSAY KEEFER - Alejandra Hernandez

Alejandra is a senior at Academy of International Studies

What extracurricular or volunteering activities have you participated in? Languas Indingenas Club (club for indigenous speakers — I speak three languages: English, Spanish and Mixteco), school food drives

What are your future goals? I want to be a dental assistant or nurse.

What do you think of Fiesta? Last year was my first time because I’m new to Woodburn. I really liked the princesses and what they represent.

Why did you join the Fiesta Court? I wanted to get involved because I’d like to improve my public speaking. I can be very shy.

Betsai Lopez Muñoz

by: LINDSAY KEEFER - Betsai Lopez Munoz

Betsai is a junior at Woodburn Academy of Art, Science and Technology

What extracurricular or volunteering activities have you participated in?Leadership conferences, Oregon State University ILEAD, Oregon Migrant Leadership Institute, Woodburn Hi-Liners (dance team), AWARE Food Bank, Bauman Farms, Fiesta Mexicana

What are your future goals? My major goal is to go to college. I’m the oldest child so I really want to make it happen, not only for my siblings, but also for myself. I’d like to go into orthodontics.

What do you think of Fiesta? I’ve volunteered at Fiesta since my freshman year. I’ve gone every year.

Why did you join the Fiesta Court? For the experience. I thought this was a good way to represent myself and prove to myself I can be a leader.

Amelia Robles

by: LINDSAY KEEFER - Amelia Robles

Amelia is a junior at Woodburn Academy of Art, Science and Technology

What extracurricular or volunteering activities have you participated in? Bauman Farms, Nellie Muir Elementary School book fair, Fiesta Mexicana

What are your future goals? I want to be a child and family social worker to help children in need because I know what it’s like not having a perfect childhood.

What do you think of Fiesta? My grandma was one of the founders and we do Fiesta every year. Our float in the parade won first place for design last year.

Why did you join the Fiesta Court? I joined to learn more about myself and to build my self-confidence. I’d like to get more involved in the community. Plus, I’d like to keep the family tradition alive of keeping the Robles name in Fiesta.



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