ROXBURY,NJ - The Roxbury High School dining hall was packed with color, food, performances,  spectators and energy last week at the third annual Global Hi-5 Multicultural Expo.

More than 300 students, organizations, families and community members took part the festive event.

“We had an awesome turnout and all 23 countries were represented, promoting all of the multi-sensory diversity and global awareness of our event’s message,” said Marcia Cordeiro, Eisenhower Middle School’s world language teacher and expo organizer. “This event is dear to my heart! I arrived in the United States at the age of 13 years old to Belleville, NJ where, in my ESL class, I was surrounded by a multicultural and diverse student population. This event has been a personal dream come true.”

Sign Up for E-News

The event brought together a variety of cultures by sharing cuisine, music, art, crafts, costumes, dance performances and more. In addition to the country expos - filled with artifacts, food, brochures, fun-facts, posters, pictures and instruments - there was continuous entertainment on center stage.

“Our hope was for attendees to gain awareness of our community’s multicultural identity that makes us one," Cordeiro said. "Our community needs to be inclusive of all people, regardless of our differences. Events like these help create stepping stones to bridge the gaps between cultures. By reaching out to all parts of the community and involving people on a regular basis allows us to foster good communication with each other.”

Country expos on display were Argentina, Canada, China, Cyprus, Colombia, Ecuador, France, Geometry, Greece, India, Ireland, Italy, Korea, Malawi, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Perú, Puerto Rico, Spain, Syria, Ukraine and the United States.

This collaborative event is organized by the Roxbury School District staff, students, parents and community members. Roxbury Schools participating organizations include the Multicultural Club, Eisenhower Middle School and Roxbury High School Spanish Clubs, Key Club, Student Council, Honor Society and French Club. These organizations are run by advisors and student members.

Participating outside organizations and community members from all over New Jersey took part in this event as well. Those groups included Los Quetzales Mexican Dance Ensemble, Noches De Colombia Restaurant, Rivera Maya Restaurant, Roxbury Scout Troops #188 and #54, Shen Yun Promotions International, Ukrainian American Cultural Center of NJ, Nor Bu Lodge, and Wick-Hegarty’s School of Irish Dance. Individuals and families participating include Michelle Danielson, Flora Frangoudis, Eleni Sergiou, Marina Montoya, Marcia Cordeiro, the Galván family, the Correa family, Jennifer Wilkerson, Maryann Paschal Brinkley, the Fotinis family and friends, Vidya Manohar, Madison Latella, Leonor Egusquiza, Samantha Gorman, Maria Jose Navarro, Zina Alani Mougharbel, and Sue Anderson.