Wednesday in DC -- Voto Latino, Food Trucks, Monuments, and More

By Khalil, Sophie, and Oni

Going to Voto Latino on Wednesday morning was very fun! Adrian and Sindy were great hosts and they knew how to keep our attention. First, they introduced themselves and told us what Voto Latino does. They work to register voters and encourage Latinos between 18-35 to vote. They do this in creative ways, like working with musicians and registering voters at their concerts and making Public Service Announcements with celebrities; they even use Facebook. Next we did an icebreaker where we were told to say our name, and our “peoples,” the groups that we identify with. For example: “I am Khalil and my peoples are science nerds and athletes!”  After the icebreaker, we were asked to write a piece about ourselves -- about our lives and maybe some of the challenges we have faced while growing up.  Voto Latino tries to connect personal stories with community concerns. We were supposed to take our stories and make a connection between our experiences and why we thought the DREAM Act or other legislation is important. For example, some people who were immigrants themselves or had immigrants in their families connected their stories of immigrating to the US for a better life to the experience of DREAMers. We then used these as a basis for creating fun and engaging Public Service Announcements for the DREAM Act. Then we said thank you and left. It was a fun, educational, and inspiring experience.

Sindy and Adrian from Voto Latino

After visiting Voto Latino we all walked down to Farraget Square where there was a huge statue with a lawn surrounded by food trucks. Now I know you might be thinking that food trucks are gross because you are thinking of the hot dog stands. But they are really cool. They are like restaurants on wheels. There were all different kinds of flavors and cultures. They included Hawaiian, Mexican, Gyros, Popcorn, Ethiopian, and Italian, etc. Everyone split into groups according to what you wanted to eat. I got Chicken Teriyaki from the Hawaiian Hula girl place. Everyone got different things to eat and they all looked really delicious. After everyone got their food we all sat down together and just hung out and enjoyed each other and the warm sunny day. After you were done eating you had the option of getting popcorn or frozen yogurt for dessert. The food was so good. It was a really fun time.

After lunch, we went back to our Bed and Breakfast and split into our lobby groups to prepare for Thursday’s lobby meetings. We brainstormed the most important aspects of the DREAM Act, so that we could be sure to make those points in our lobby meetings. Then we went out for a monument scavenger hunt.  Each group tried to answer trivia questions about the monuments, such as “Name two of the eight columns from the World War II memorial that have places engraved in them that are not part of the United States.”  The hunt was fun but exhausting, and we ended at the new Martin Luther King Memorial with barely enough energy to take a group picture.

At the World War II Memorial

Channeling our serious side at the Lincoln Memorial
After eating a delicious dinner at the Hard Rock CafĂ©, the fifth floor walked a couple blocks to Red Velvet  Cupcakery. It was a short walk from the White House. This is one of the most amazing cupcake shops I have ever been to. The first impression that you get from this place is that the cupcakes look great. They had a lot of flavors to choose from from Vanilla to Chocolate Peanut Butter.  The cupcakes were amazing. Now there wasn't enough space in Cupcakery to fit all 40 something of us so we went to the park. At the park we got to eat our cupcakes and just let out all of our energy from the day out before returning to the hotel. It was a great way to end the day.

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