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YSU celebrates Hispanic heritage

YOUNGSTOWN — Each year that Herminia Lees travels to Cusco, Peru, she never returns alone.

“Originally, she started selling clothes to pay for her trips back and forth to visit her family,” Lees’ daughter, Marisol Rodemoyer of Youngstown, said.

Lees also visited various artisans with whom she had developed a business relationship, and as a result, she brings home a variety of sharply colorful, handcrafted items they had ready for her.

Mother and daughter were on hand to sell many of those eye-catching pieces during today’s annual Hispanic Heritage Celebration at Youngstown State University’s Kilcawley Center.

The three-hour event was largely to celebrate Hispanic culture and traditions, organizers said.

Hosting the gathering were YSU’s Latinx & Hispanic Studies organization and the university’s Hispanic Heritage Planning Committee.

Lees, also of Youngstown, and her daughter were selling numerous bright, cultural pieces such as small purses, drums, dolls, ashtrays, finger puppets, boxes, bracelets, painted and fired clay pots, owls, ceramic necklaces, llamas and llama pins.

Lees has made the annual trek to her native Peru for about 50 years, she added.

Read more in Sunday’s Vindicator.

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