For the first time in the Oxnard Salsa Festival’s 26-year history, Cabrillo Economic Development Corporation will participate in the “Dancing With Our Community Stars” competition. After weeks of rehearsals, Cabrillo board member Victor Rodriguez will take the stage with local dance instructor Yesenia Peña to raise funds for Cabrillo’s mission of affordable housing.
“At Cabrillo, we serve families, farmworkers, seniors, veterans as well as special needs populations to provide safe and secure housing,” said Margarita de Escontrias, Cabrillo’s CEO. “We don’t just build and leave; we stay and work with many of our families. Our services not only provide a roof and shelter but a platform for moving out of poverty, obtaining an education, maintaining stable employment and being part of a community.”
Although “not a great dancer,” Rodriguez will endure several weeks of rehearsals and dance in front of thousands of people at the Salsa Festival on July 28, 2019, at Plaza Park in Oxnard. Rodriguez, who immigrated to the United States with his parents and eight siblings, eventually settled at the Cabrillo Village farmworker community in Saticoy, where he grew up. “Cabrillo Village had a positive impact on my life and created opportunities my family would have otherwise not had. Having access to affordable housing and safe living conditions allowed our family to focus on other priorities, including homework and participating in after-school programs.”
Today Rodriguez is a success story with a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Management from the University of La Verne and nearly 20 years of professional experience in human resources. He currently serves as the Human Resources Director at Puretec Industrial Water.
“I am excited about the exposure this will create for Cabrillo’s brand and mission, but what scares me is tripping over my own feet into a face plant in front of a large audience,” said Rodriguez.
His instructor, Peña, is a Ventura County native who has been dancing for eight years. In 2015, Peña started teaching at Caliente Dance Studios and Co-Directing Rumba Caliente Kids. She has been teaching Salsa, Bachata, and Hip Hop in Oxnard for four years and believes that dancing communicates a person’s deepest, highest, and most truly spiritual thoughts and emotions far better than words, spoken or written.
Peña is passionate about teaching the new generation as she helps makes a difference in each of the child’s lives. In 2019, she started her own all-ladies dance team, “Sizzling Dulzura.” Peña has been supporting the Oxnard Salsa Festival for the past eight years and this will be her the first time as an instructor for Dancing with Our Community Stars.
Every dollar donated counts as one vote. To vote for Rodriguez and Peña make your donation at http://bit.ly/SalsaVictorDWOCS
Links for additional information
• Cabrillo Economid Development Corporation Donation Page
• Oxnard Salsa Festival
• Dancing With Our Community Stars