East Harlem bookstore features works by Latino writers

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Joe Torres has the story.

As part of our celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, Eyewitness News visited a bookstore in East Harlem with Mexican roots.

The store, La Casa Azul Bookstore, is tucked away in a 1,400-square-foot space located at 143 103rd Street.

It's not a blue house as the name suggests, but it is named after the blue house of celebrated Mexican artist Frida Kahlo.

"Having studied her life and having visited her home many times, I felt it was a perfect name for the store," owner Aurora Anaya-Cerda said.

She also likes the name Casa, because everyone who visits the store feels comfortable and at home.

The shelves of La Casa Azul are filled with books that tell Latino stories, written by Latino authors and illustrated by Latino artists.

"There are so many, hundreds of Latino writers that exist," Anaya-Cerda said. "Including many that come from East Harlem."

The Mexican-American former teacher says education, exposure and empowerment are some of the benefits gained by customers who read the books sold in her store.

"Those are the books that changed my life," she said. "Those are the books that made me a teacher and an activist in my community."

Recognizing and uplifting Latino culture through books is a perfect example of what Hispanic Heritage Month is all about.

Related Topics:
societybookslatino lifehispanic heritage monthNew York CityEast Harlem
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