Waving flags and swaying to salsa sounds, thousands of Latinos lined Fifth Avenue Sunday for the Hispanic Day parade to express national pride and to celebrate their unity.
Marchers donned sombreros and sequins, feather crowns and leather pants to represent the many cultures within each Latin American country and the languages, rhythms and religions that cross borders.
"In Peru, we admire Puerto Rico so much for its music," said Humberto Malasquez of Puerto Callao, Peru.
"Unity is very important so that we don't feel isolated," said the 43-year-old cook, who has spent seven years in the United States.
"Our families are far away, but here were are together and (we) feel more secure each day."
Catholic onlookers cheered Argentina's Virgin of Lujan, Mexico's Virgin of Guadalupe and patron saints of other countries, while evangelical Protestants talked about the strength they draw from their religion.