International festival returns to Fort Benning after year of hiatus


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FORT BENNING, Ga. (WRBL) – After a one-year hiatus, Fort Benning held its annual international festival, also known as “Bocadillos”, on September 23, 2021. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event was not open to the public and only to soldiers and their families. could attend.

Colonel John Suggs, commander of the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, described the Tri-City region as a very diverse cultural makeup. He also said that the Latino community is very powerful.

“This is an opportunity for all of our students who work at WHINSEC to show their pride in their nation, flags, national foods and national costumes at the same time for the benefit of the whole community,” said Col. Suggs.

He said his favorite part was watching different countries perform and showing off their skills like dancing and singing. He said he hopes the festival can accommodate more people next year.

Adela Garcia-Duncan, director of communications and outreach at WHINSEC, said the festival is held around 20 weeks before the day and the community looks forward to the event every year.

“I love their food, I can never choose. Everyone will always ask me which one is my favorite, I don’t have a favorite, everything is delicious. Love too, because they prepared the food with love and that’s the Latino culture, so it’s expressing itself tonight, ”Garcia-Duncan said.

The International Festival is organized each year by a different director from WHINSEC. Each stand is represented by people from that country who are either instructors or students of the school.

Yira Martinez, the wife of a member of the Dominican Republic’s military, said she and her husband arrived at Fort Benning three months ago. He took the command and staff officer course before returning to the Dominican Republic.

“To be happy and to be able to give good energy to everyone who comes to our stand and we can show them how beautiful our country is,” Martinez said in Spanish.

She said her favorite part of the event was being able to share Dominican food and culture with all visitors.

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Darcy J. Skinner

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