Pharr and PSJA ISD Host 2019 Lunar New Year Festival

Pharr, Texas – The City of Pharr, the Pharr Economic Development Corporation, the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District (PSJA ISD), and the University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) held a joint celebration for the 2019 Lunar New Year Festival, celebrating the Year of the Hog. Considered the most important holiday in China, the Chinese New Year is celebrated throughout the country with festivals, special traditions, and food. The festival, which was held at PSJA Southwest Early College High School attracted students from throughout the district and community, helping to provide an understanding and knowledge of the Chinese culture.

“Events like these are crucial to expanding our student’s worldview and broadening their understanding of other languages, cultures, and traditions,” said Mayor Ambrosio Hernandez, M.D. “The City of Pharr is proud to participate and support this culturally-immersive event which helps students further understand the Chinese culture,” he continued. “Additionally, this type of cultural immersion prepares our students to be globally competitive in an internationally driven workforce,” he added.

PSJA ISD has a renowned Dual Language Enrichment Program, which has become a model for local, state, and national educators. As such, they are one of the only, if not the only, district in the Rio Grande Valley to offer a Mandarin Chinese Program. A program such as this one exposes students to cultural events, foods, traditions, and many other aspects of the culture, adding a more in-depth understanding of a culture than just language acquisition.

“As a globally competitive economy, it is crucial that we work with our students and educators to develop the skills, knowledge, and languages that will benefit economic development for future generations,” said Victor Perez, Pharr EDC Executive Director and PSJA ISD School Board Member. “We are thankful to the University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) and the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District (PSJA ISD) your continuous support,” he added.

The festival was attended by hundreds of local community members, students, and officials. A vibrant celebration including traditional Chinese customs such as food, music, calligraphy, martial arts, songs, clothing, and a dragon dance was showcased throughout the evening of festivities.