Angelee Pabón: Paving Paths and Positively Promoting Puerto Rican Culture in Buffalo at 17 Years Old

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Angelee Pabón is a 17 year old high school senior who has already impacted the lives of several other young people in the Buffalo community at such a young age through her work at El Batey. El Batey is a Puerto Rican Cultural Center located in Buffalo, New York that offers programs that allow people to immerse themselves in Puerto Rican culture, learn various dances, musical instruments, songs, and martial arts. Angelee’s involvement and journey with El Batey began two years ago. She shared that when she first became involved, she learned more about her Puerto Rican culture and history. Upon first joining the El Batey community, Angelee started dancing Bomba, a cultural dance from Puerto Rico, but found her most loved passion in Jiu-Jitsu.

Angelee advanced quickly in Jiu-Jitsu, becoming a junior coach for El Batey’s equity program, Takeover Jiu-Jitsu Level Up, in which she teaches kids Brazilian Jiu Jitsu skills, and continues to improve and sharpen her own skill set too. Jose Flores, husband of El Batey’s founder, Beatriz Flores, is the head coach of El Batey’s Takeover Jiu-Jitsu Level Up program. This form of martial arts uses zero weapons or striking and includes various techniques such as takedowns and submissions; it is a highly strategic sport often referred to as the art of Jiu Jitsu. 

While Jiu-Jitsu is her favorite, Angelee also enjoys being involved in Bombazos, which are live music and communal events. She also serves on the El Batey board. Being a part of the board, Angelee shared, “I advocate for young kids in our community”. Serving the youth as a teacher and advocate, as well as connecting the Buffalo community with Puerto Rican culture, Angelee continues to serve as a role model and inspiration to those whose lives she is in. She is inspired the most by being able to bring the same opportunities she has had to the younger kids in her community, and giving them a place, at El Batey, to call home.

Angelee shared, “I encourage other young people to advocate their ideas in their communities and their environments [such as] school systems, or at home… so they can see changes in their community and not be afraid to speak out loud”. Angelee left us all with one last piece of advice as she said with a smile, “Stop by at El Batey, see what it’s like, because if I love it, you will too!”

The post Angelee Pabón: Paving Paths and Positively Promoting Puerto Rican Culture in Buffalo at 17 Years Old appeared first on Buffalo Rising.

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