Thousands of Denverites took to the streets to celebrate healthy lifestyles during Viva Streets on Sunday.
Viva Streets, an event organized by LiveWell Colorado and Bike Denver, was inspired by Ciclovias, first started in Bogota. For the event, 23rd avenue was blocked off from City Park to Stapleton road.
Tracy Boyle, a spokeswoman for LiveWell Colorado, said the purpose of the event was to showcase Denver's streets as a place for more than just cars.
Byle also said it is important to promote a more active lifestyle considering 58 percent of all Colorado adults are overweight or obese and about a quarter of children.
"We really need to make being active a part of our lifestyle, to help stay healthy," Boyle said.
In the case of Latinos, the overweight threat is even greater. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Mexican Americans have an obesity rate of 40.4 percent, while all Hispanics hover around 39 percent.
Nutritionist Malena Perdomo said Latin food is usually offers a hearty and healthy combination but mixing it with fast food and high stress jobs is what pushes the Hispanic population into the high-risk area.
"We like healthy food but if you combine them with junk food, sodas or things that you can pick up like fast food, that connection right there is not good for us," Perdomo said.
Perdomo said she has partnered with LiveWell to help people think more about what they eat. As a Latina herself - originally from Panama - Perdomo said that she has been working closely with the Hispanic community in Colorado, helping people look for healthy options while still sticking to their budget.
"It's not that complicated to have healthy habits and keep them up," she said.
Perdomo said there is still much more to do, but the first step is getting people to acknowledge that they need to change their habits.
"You don't have to spend that much money to be healthy," she said. "You've got Colorado, you have those beautiful places that you can hike and walk and run."
Gosi Kung, executive director of Walk Denver, said they advocate to make Denver more pedestrian-friendly so people can add physical activity to their daily routines.
Kung said having a walkable city also helps for economic development because people can stop at their local store and restaurants.
Boyle said about 10,000 people came to Viva Streets more than last year when the event started. Organizers of the event hope to take the event to other streets around the city.
Traci Stewart of Denver, came out with her two kids to teach her daughter how to bike.
"I like seeing my neighbors," Stewart said. "I'm seeing a lot of my neighbors and it is a fun different way to see them."
The event started at 10 a.m. with a parade where children and adults alike were encouraged to dress up and decorate their bikes.
2 English cucumbers, peeled, halved, seeded and sliced
2 tbs of red onion, finely chopped
2 tbs scallions or green onion, sliced
2 tbs cilantro, only the leaves with no stems, finely chopped
4 tbs mint leaves, finely chopped
2 tbs apple cider vinegar
Juice of 2 -3 large lemons
1 tbs sugar
1/2 tsp salt or to taste
1. Drain the sliced cucumbers on a paper towel for a few minutes.
2. Combine the cucumbers in glass bowl with the scallions, onion, cilantro and mint leaves.
3. Sprinkle the vinegar, lemon juice and sugar. Gently toss all of the ingredients together. Let it sit in the fridge for 1 or 2 hours, to improve soak in the flavors.
4. Optional: Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp of chili flakes and 3 tbs of unsalted roasted crushed peanuts.
- Provided by Chef Maya Leon-Meis