The Harlem Facebook Group highlights extraordinary stories of coming together after Hispanic Heritage Month


September 15thThursday until October 15Thursday 2023, is marked as Hispanic Heritage Month Each year.

But for members Childhood friends of Spanish Harlem/El Barrio Facebook Group, each month is a celebration of Hispanic heritage.

Ace Hispanic Heritage Month now come and gone, they proudly reflect on the incredible encounters and stories their online community has made possible.

It was first established in 2010 Childhood friends of Spanish Harlem/El Barrio A Facebook Group is a digital community where people reconnect with old friends and family by posting photos of loved ones they’ve lost touch with. They also talk about the music of their culture, share recipes and work to preserve their traditions and revive those that have been lost. Membership grew during the pandemic, and the group has since become a popular place to gather, connect, and discuss shared history.

“Stories from our childhood play an important role in connecting and preserving our culture. We have this digital space where we engage in various activities and discussions with the intention of maintaining and maintaining our traditions,” he said Childhood friends of Spanish Harlem/El Barrio creator and admin Wanda Santos Ciulla. “Our Facebook group is an active community free of arguments, disagreements, politics and drama – and I’m extremely proud of the many incredible encounters we’ve made possible together. Members reunited with siblings, cousins, friends and neighbors from many years ago. The group even warmed the former teacher’s heart when he learned that his old students still like to talk about him,” she continued.

Below is just a sampling of the group’s heartwarming stories:

  • The man, now in his 50s, shared a photo of himself around three years old with his sister and father. He spent years trying to track down where his father was buried and hoped members of a Facebook group could help him. Within minutes of posting this picture, a member of the group tagged another member of the group and the reunion happened right in front of everyone online at the time – the man’s brother tagged his sister and they reconnected almost immediately. Not only did he finally learn where his father was buried, but he was reunited with his siblings.
  • The next day, a similar situation developed – the man was reunited with his aunts and uncles from the neighborhood who had moved to Puerto Rico.
  • Just recently, the admin of the Facebook group, Wanda, asked if anyone remembered Mr. Rosa, her piano teacher from when she was just 12 years old. Several members of the group immediately responded that they did remember him—he had taught at various public schools. One member said they took clarinet lessons from him. Another member shared that Mr. Rosa currently lives in Florida and is still playing music. Eventually the members were able to contact him and he was touched to learn that, in his 80s, his students from decades earlier were thrilled to find out where he was and see how he was doing. Mr. Rosa is now a member of the group himself.

National Hispanic Heritage Month it’s time for us to honor the traditions, stories and connections that define our community, especially here in El Barrio. That’s why we highlight the many extraordinary and rewarding stories of reconnection and closure that our growing digital community has helped make happen. For us, each month is a celebration of our shared backgrounds and the stories that connect us,” said Ciulla.

Click The Spanish Harlem/El Barrio Childhood Friends Facebook group focuses on extraordinary reunion stories join the conversation.

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