On the morning of March 15th at Plaza del Camarón, as part of the “Sonora Reads” program, a reading event took place in commemoration of the 301 years since the passing of Father Francisco Eusebio Kino. Participants included those from the City administration, the Cultural Institute, and musicians, alongside students from local jr. high and high schools. The event began with a story by city historian Amaranto Celaya of Padre Kino’s journey through Sonora; this was followed by the formal inauguration and a bit of music that led into a public reading. Everyone in attendance received a small history booklet and brochure about the life and work of Padre Kino. The 100,000 brochures printed by the Sonoran Institute of Culture is one of the most extensive prints they have done. Later, musicians at the event including Jesse Gerardo, Roberto Mendoza, and Eddie Perea struck up chords once more before bringing the gathering to a close.
The Sonora Reads program is part of an unprecedented event, as there were simultaneous readings going on across Sonora’s 46 municipalities seeking, in addition to learning about and commemorating Padre Kino, to instill improved reading habits among children and youth and to get them more involved in literature and thereby expanding their areas of knowledge.
Another noteworthy event this month honoring Padre Kino’s journey through this region is the 6th traditional Pinacate trek, to take place on March 31st — April 1st, which will include participation of the Tohono O’odham community for the first time. The trip has generally been limited to 120 people and by invitation, though this year the community is also invited to go to the Pinacate Visitors Center on the evening of March 31st* (*to be confirmed) for a grand event to include dance, poets, music, and more all commemorating Padre Kino.