On Tuesday afternoon, approximately 12 people took a downtown cultural business and arts walking tour to experience and explore the many diverse businesses found in the Marshalltown community, as well as admire several murals along the way. I was able to
The Marshalltown YMCA-YWCA sponsored two tours, one at 2:30 pm and the other at 4:30 pm, and each took about an hour and a half. On the agenda were the Golden Karen Asian Store, La Salud Grocery Store, Zamora Fresh Market, Villatuart Supermarket, Adelina’s Grill, Golden Land Asian Food and some downtown murals.
These downtown excursions have been a staple of Y’s annual program since about three years before the pandemic. There was a brief hiatus between events due to COVID-19, but on Tuesday he returned to perform in 2022.
YMCA-YWCA Finance Director Wendy Soltero hosted and organized this year’s tour with the help of Executive Assistant Mari Zamora. Soltero was thrilled to have the opportunity to showcase Marshalltown’s many ethnic her businesses to the community.
In the past, it was strictly a Y event, but this year, Soltero said he partnered with the Marshall County Arts and Culture Alliance to highlight some of the murals that have popped up around town in recent years.
“We really wanted to bring it back again. I know a lot of people have asked about it, and it’s been great for the community,” Soltero said. , we hope this will continue to be a connection between communities.For those who have never been in an ethnic business before, they may feel unwelcome, unfamiliar, or just I’m a little bit scared. The idea is they feel like they can just go in and see what’s inside and maybe come back next time with their friends.”
The small group on the 2:30 tour included Y CEO Carol Hibbs, Marshalltown Area Chamber of Commerce President and CEO John Hall, and other Chamber officials, We were able to enter each business and look around. A few people shopped and talked to the shop owner.
Gabriela Vargas, one of La Salud’s owners, was generous enough to offer samples of the drinks made in-house. Zamora’s owner, Jose Zaragoza, provided tacos and fruit samples for tour participants so people could get a real feel for what the business has to offer. .
Soltero pointed out different things to do at each business and recommended items and foods to try throughout the tour. We felt it was a great way to showcase the shop and encourage them to come back and visit for themselves.
“(The tour) really fits with what we stand for at Y: diversity and inclusivity and welcoming,” Soltero said. I am fortunate to work for an organization that I feel are passionate about the same things that I am.As a Hispanic, I love educating people and trying to incorporate my culture. It’s not just about your own culture, it’s about different groups and diversity, so being able to work for Y means that too.”
Soltero said visiting these downtown businesses is a good opportunity for people to learn about new cultures and feel “they are part of the same community.”
“I always say, and I will continue to say, that art and culture are universal, universal ways to bring everyone together,” says Soltero. “We are lucky to be in a diverse community, so you can get to know, eat, try and learn different cultures without leaving the city.”
During the walking tour, participants were able to get up close to the Marshalltown Selfie Mural, the Tremont Mural, the Paper Airplane Mural, and the sidewalk poems that can be seen in front of the latter mural.
Y’s Downtown Walking Tour is held annually, and Soltero said he hopes to see more participation in 2023. Answer questions anytime.
“Even if the tour doesn’t happen, if someone wants me to come with them, I’m happy to do so,” Soltero said.
Soltero is available on Y at (641) 752-8658, ext. 207 to answer questions about downtown tours. Touring he plans to resume in 2023.
Addresses of companies visited during the tour are:
• Golden Kayin Asian Store: 136 W. Main St.
• La Salud Grocery: 17 N. First St.
• Zamora Fresh Market: 4 E. Main Street.
• Villachuato Supermarket: 107 N. Center St.
• Adelina’s Grill: 101 N. Center St.
• Golden Kand Asian: 11 E. State St.
Susanna Meyer 641-753-6611 or