ARIZONA’S HEART AND SOL: Tucson teacher keeping 85-year-old tradition alive

Miriam Romero, a teacher at Carillo Elementary, works hard to keep Las Posadas alive for future generations.
Published: Dec. 31, 2021 at 5:57 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - A Tucson teacher is working hard to keep an 85-year-old Tucson tradition alive.

Miriam Romero, a teacher at Carillo Elementary, wants to ensure Las Posadas will continue for future generations.

“I think it’s a way for people to remember who lived in this neighborhood originally and what makes it so unique,” Romero said. “I see the Posada as a community act of love, community act of memory and acknowledging through passing those things down.”

For more than eight decades, students have acted out the Christmas story of Mary and Joesph searching for a place to have baby Jesus. They travel from the school through the Barrio Viejo neighborhood.

“It’s something that started here in 1937 when Carillo was a segregated school for Mexican-American children,” Romero said.

She said the tradition is from Mexico and helps teach the students, as well as the community, about the culture and heritage.

For Merriam, the tradition holds a very special place in her heart. As a child, she participated in it too.

“It made me feel special when I got to dress up and made me feel proud as a kid,” she said. “I wanted that for future generations including my four kids.”

Savannah Herrera, a music teacher at Carillo, said it takes a lot of people to make it a reality.

“It’s a community effort,” Herrera said. “We all work slowly and surely. By the end of the night, it’s beautiful.”

Herrera and the other teachers are already planning next year’s event to make sure it’s just as beautiful for its 86th year.

For her work, Merriam was named Arizona’s Heart & Sol and was presented a $300 gift card from Casino Del Sol.

If you know someone who represents Arizona’s Heart and Sol, use the form below. You can read about other Heart & Sol winners HERE.

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