Annual Benefit Dance
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Guatemalan Society of Minnesota

15th Annual Guatemala
Benefit Dance

Saturday, October 2, 2004
8:00 pm - 12:30 am

Admission $15

Music by Latin Sounds Orchestra

salsa Dance Lessons 8:00 - 9:00 pm

Raffle drawing for two airline tickets to Latin America donated by American Airlines!
Tickets are $5.

1301 South Second Avenue
Downtown Minneapolis
For ticket information call 651-645-5840 or email
Emiliano and Gale

Proceeds from the dance will go to equip the San Lucas Tolimán Mission medical clinic (below).

Event is organized by the Guatemalan Society of Minnesota and by Friends of Guatemala. GSM is a non-profit organization managed by a volunteer board of directors.

History of the Benefit Dance

The San Lucas Mission medical clinic in San Lucas Tolimán, GuatemalaSan Lucas Tolimán Mission Clinic

Dance to


The Latin Sounds Orchestra plays authentic Afro-Cuban and Afro-Carribean beats of Mambo, Salsa, Merengue, Guaguanco, Cumbia, Boleros, Cha-cha, Samba, Bossanovas, Rumbas and all tropical music. Composed by twelve talented musicians and singers from Latin America!






The Dental Clinic is part of the San Lucas medical clinic

History of the Annual Benefit Dance for Guatemala and Minnesota

The first Annual Guatemalan Benefit Dance was held in September 1990. The purpose of the dance is to raise funds for a medical clinic that serves people around the Lake Atitlán, specifically people in San Lucas Tolimán, and surrounding villages, towns and plantations. The San Lucas Mission, at San Lucas Tolimán, manages the medical clinic.

This dance is also an opportunity for Guatemalans living in Minnesota to contribute to the well-being of families and friends living back home. Since its inception, the event has evolved into one of the largest multicultural and multigenerational gatherings in the Twin Cities metropolitan area by attracting approximately 500-700 people every year.

The Annual Guatemalan Benefit Dance became a non-profit organization with 501(c)(3) status in 2000 and the board of directors decided it was also important to contribute to improving the lives of Guatemalans and other Spanish-speaking people in Minnesota. Therefore, in 2000 and 2001 the dance profits were divided between El Fondo de Nuestra Comunidad, St. Paul Foundation and the San Lucas Mission.

In 2002, the name of the dance changed to The Annual Benefit Dance for Guatemala and Minnesota and the name of the organization managing the dance and other events became The Guatemalan Society of Minnesota (GSM).

The new names exalt the importance of unity and collaboration among Guatemalans, and between Guatemalans and Minnesotans.

In addition to a philanthropic goal, other important goals of the Annual Benefit Dance are to nurture interracial relations, promote volunteerism for all members of the community, and assist Latino immigrants, as they became comfortable in their new homeland of Minnesota.

This long-term partnership among Guatemalan-Americans, other Spanish speakers, and Minnesotans of many backgrounds (African-Americans, Asian-Americans, European-Americans) is forged from a common commitment to building a harmonious local community. The founders hope in the future that this partnership will grow to support additional community-sustaining projects and cultural program, and enhance Latin American culture in North America.

This event is the largest Guatemalan-affiliated celebration held during Hispanic Heritage Month in Minnesota, which is celebrated annually between September 15-October 15.

Copyright © 2003 Guatemalan Society of Minnesota. All rights reserved.
Page last updated on August 27, 2004