MOTT HAVEN, Bronx (WABC) -- It's Sunday in the summertime, and by 9 a.m., the Maria Solis Garden in the South Bronx is crawling with toddlers - literally! Besides their love of sunshine, these kids have two things in common: they're all of Latin American descent, and all are wearing clothing that reflects that heritage.
"Ojala Threads creates baby bodysuits inspired by Hispanic Heritage," says Ramona Ferreyra, the company's founder who named her clothing line after the Spanish word for hope.
Ferreyra, a Dominican-American who split her childhood between Washington Heights and Santiago, Dominican Republic, wanted her clothing to reflect the ancient Taíno cultures of the Caribbean.
"I wanted our designs to not focus on modern day borders, instead looking at indigenous roots," says Ferreyra.
Ojala Threads partners with Eric Michael Print Shop in the South Bronx to produce jumpers featuring authentic Taíno patterns. Going local was key for Ferreyra, who wants her business to not only reflect the neighborhood, but to be created there as well.
"It's very difficult to raise a child in a place where sometimes your culture and identity isn't fully appreciated," Ferreyra says, noting that many in Mott Haven are 'hyphenated-Americans' with diverse family histories and Latin American roots.
"My clothing says the opposite. It says you can be fully who you are and take pride in that."
To hear more amazing stories of community leaders in our area, join ABC7 in celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month.