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Global Village Welcome Center celebrates Indy’s rich diversity with World of Trees

Indy’s Global Village celebrates diversity with World of Trees

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — In the heart of the International Marketplace Christmas, tree decorations are bringing immigrants and families from across Indianapolis together.

With the careful placement of Christmas decorations, people from different walks of life offer a glimpse into their piece of our small world.

“When people come into this building, it’s like biases are lifted off the shoulders, and more of a wow takes over people’s expressions,” said Mary Clark, the executive director of the International Marketplace Coalition and the Global Village Welcome Center.

For the next few weeks, the World of Trees at the Global Village Welcome Center will showcase more than 40 different Christmas trees.

Some represent countries like Mexico, Colombia, Nicaragua, and Guatemala.

“We have Japanese and Nigerian, and I’m just looking at the trees. We have Ethiopia and Germany, and we have Slovenia, and we have Ukraine,” Clark said.

Cristina Reynoso is from Guatemala.

She says she’s thankful for the opportunity.

“For us, in my case, for me as an indigenous person, it is quite special to be able to exhibit everything that is culture, tradition, and within that is the tradition that we celebrate like this date, which is Christmas,” Reynoso said.

She says growing up in Guatemala, she used fruits to decorate her Christmas trees due to extreme poverty.

Now Reynoso has the chance to celebrate differently.

“Because of the economic hardship that we had and many families cannot have it, you look for a way to do it, right?”

Reynoso, with some of her friends, also created a manger because they’re passionate about celebrating Jesus’s birth.

She said, “We commemorate the day Jesus was born, so that is why we put together everything that is the manger. That’s the importance we place on it.”

Community leaders say they are excited for everyone to celebrate with them.

“Indianapolis is so richly cultured these days. When you look at these trees, you see the world,” Clark said.

Organizers say the exhibit will wrap up on Jan. 31. It is free of charge.

There will also be an opportunity to look at the exhibit this Saturday from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. during the International Marketplace’s annual Holiday Bazaar.

The Global Village Welcome Center is located at 4233 Lafayette Rd.